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I was over thirty before I finalized my decision not to become a minister. But even now, as some of you know, I still occasionally give in to the urge to preach. Thanks to an invitation from the editor of the POD Quarterly, I now have an opportunity to do so on a regular basis-and on a topic close to my heart.
Evaluation is part and parcel of our POD jargon. Unfortunately, as is the case with some other concepts and practices we borrowed from our predecessors and colleagues in other fields, it is extremely misunderstood. Many of us have become "overnight experts" in and about things we had no knowledge of when "the movement" began, and evaluation is no exception. In fact, I know of only three people in POD that have had any formal training in evaluation. Admittedly, it is my bias that evaluation is a more complex and (dare I say it?) more important skill than some others currently being plied in the trade. Thus my willingness to write this column.