Would Jesus deserve a performance improvement plan?

October 5, 2020

It is the understanding and teaching of the Church that everyone is called to enter the Kingdom of God. If this premise which the Church prescribes and affirms is true, then why do we encounter individuals who exhibit no desire to enter the Kingdom of God let alone disparage Jesus Christ himself? On the surface, it would appear that Christ’s method of communication through parables, eating with sinners, selection of a questionable ministerial workforce-Apostles, his miraculous works of healing, deliverance, and institution of the Holy Eucharist proved ineffective or worse futile.

A Christological Assessment

Sacred Scripture above all other ministerial instruments provides a clear and distinctive assessment on the works of Christ’s and man’s response to Revelation. Christ exclaims that he came into this world to bear witness to the truth.[1] This would propose that man:

Tends by nature toward the truth. He is obliged to honor and bear witness to it: It is in accordance with their dignity that all me, because they are persons are both impelled by their nature and bond by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth.[2]

The premise of a Christological assessment is to determine a person’s intent and desire to live an active life in Christ. Pastoral instruments associated with this approach would by the application of the Ten Commandments that reflect man’s desire to listen to the Word of God and live the moral rule of faith; the application of the beatitudes to assess man’s desire to help and serve his fellow man; and finally the receptivity of the sacramental life especially a daily renewal of one’s baptismal identity that leads toward an eager reception of the sacraments of healing and most importantly the reception of the Holy Eucharist.

The acts of Christ-his public works were principally aimed to invite belief in God. This means those who turn to God in faith will receive abundant blessings. If we calculate the significance of the miracles Christ performed, one would assume that many would turn to Christ immediately. However, we encounter that many saw Christ’s works as offensive and contrary to the Law of God. [3] Does this mean that Christ was I dare say a substandard messenger for God or worst yet, a very poor example of God’s Word? Would Christ benefit from some professional coaching or the administration of a performance improvement plan?

The Premise of a Performance Improvement Plan

The term administration is offered viewed with disdain in ministerial circles because quite frankly, very few enjoy or possess administrative skills or have the acumen to oversee staff in a loving and dignified way. Some may take my general assessment as an exaggeration but, this takes place more often than naught. No one in a supervisory role wants to be to be placed in a situation where you have to discipline an employee especially someone “working for the Church” because the understanding is, the person is “working for the Church” so this must mean something noble, correct? Or, we have the scenario where the supervisor is actively looking to find something wrong in the employee for the simple reason that the supervisor does not want to be blamed for anything and desires to have complete control even to the point of what type of socks to wear- I know of situation where this actually occurred.

The premise of a performance improvement plan (PIP) is to address the gifts and talents of the individual and how these attributes have greatly benefited the Church while at the same time prudently and honestly address specific actions that demonstrate a visible contradiction in the role, mission and duties of the position in question.

Human Resource professionals understand the inherent value of a (PIP) because of the instruments ability to offer an honest, objective and at times difficult assessment of an employees work performance if conducted with respect to the dignity of the employee as a child of God. Taken from the side of the employee, it can be viewed as an indictment of his own work or worse a personal attack. If exercised with a proper moral compass the (PIP) should provide the employee with an opportunity to address any shortcomings with charity.

Would Jesus receive a (PIP)?

If Christ’s performance as the Son of God was based on the number of disciples he assembled, then the obvious answer would be a resounding yes. We need look no further than the Eucharistic discourse where many disciples left Christ after his final proclamation that He is the living bread that came down from Heaven.[4] Based on this assessment, Jesus would receive a (PIP) to work on his supposed lack of communication skills and charity.

An honest parish supervisor would tell you that a (PIP) would only be administered as a last resort. The hope is through direct pastoral intervention, communication and prayer that any issue would be resolved. What makes employee discipline more awkward within a Church setting is that though the intentions of the Church employee in question may appear genuine, nevertheless if there is an issue it needs to be addressed before the situation becomes untenable and worst case scenario souls are damaged.

Our duty as Christians is to serve as witnesses of the Gospel and the obligations associated with this duty. As sacramental creatures acting both in word and deed, our life must directly reflect Christ not only within ourselves but in those we encounter.

 

[1] Jn 18:27

[2] CCC 2467

[3] Mt 11:6

[4] Jn 6:66-72

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