Seven Strategies for Kicking-Off Your Online Assessment Center
David Posthuma @ Jan 22, 2007 12:25 PM
AssessMe.org is 100% committed to helping ministries around the world to effectively equip and mobilize their people for ministry. However, a common question we receive from pastors is, “how do I begin?” This brief article is intended to communicate the strategy we have most often communicated to pastors responsible for ministry mobilization within their church.
Recommendation #1 – Use the AssessMe.org Portal in Your Website
While there are numerous means by which your people can access your assessment center to take the assessments, the website portal is the ideal integration format. Using the website portal option enables your people to NEVER leave your ministry website. The benefits of this format include:
A sample portal is displayed below:
Recommendation #2 – Resist Using the Registration Code Key Option
Activate the registration key code option for your assessment center portal only as a last option in cases of severe assessment center abuse. The registration code key will restrict user registrations unless they input the access code, and so limit the number of people who register with your ministry. Most ministries are reporting less than 1% of the people who have registered with their ministry do not directly belong to their ministry.
Recommendation #3 – Train Mobilization Counselors
Before promoting your online assessment center to your congregation, it would be wise to have sufficient numbers of counselors trained to assist your people in interpreting and applying their assessment results. These counselors should have at least taken our online training webinar found at http://www.assessme.org/about/webinar/ . Alternatively, David Posthuma is available to meet with your leadership and conduct appropriate training on site. (See http://blogs.echurchnetwork.net/assessme/category/Consulting%20And%20Training.aspx.)
Recommendation #4 – Promote Your
Many pastors have found it very helpful to offer their congregations a mini-sermon series that explores the biblical teaching involving:
Each week, following the teaching time, display your church website on a large screen and demonstrate to your people where the
Recommendation #5 – Promote Your
Send a personalized email from the senior pastor, to each attendee of your church, requesting the attendee to visit your church website and letting them know that your ministry is offering FREE assessments that will help them better understand their God ordained nature and purposes. Be sure to include a link or button in the email that will take the recipient directly to your
Recommendation #6 – Offer Testimonials on Your
Provide pictures of people in your church, along with their reference quotations, regarding their positive experience in taking the assessments, and how the assessments helped them better understand their true ministry calling.
Privacy is a huge issue for many people today. For many young adults, they may be reticent to share their personal information even with your church, unless they are assured that the information will be handles responsibly and appropriately. For an example of a privacy statement, CLICK HERE.
These seven strategies commonly result in a very high percentage of church members and attendees registering with your
Passion: Following God's Invocatio for Our Lives
David Posthuma @ Jan 22, 2007 10:08 AM
Our ministry temperament determines how we approach the world around us, as well as how we interpret our daily experiences. It also causes us to be attracted to certain types of experiences, and disinterested in other types of experiences. The result is that over time, we all develop unique patterns of interests, passions, and skills.
One of the awesome opportunities I am privileged to have, as a father of two young children, is watching the personalities of my children emerge. I have a son, Joshua, and an older daughter, Alyssa. My two children could not be more different.
Joshua is an aggressive, competitive, critical analyzer of details. One day when he was five years old, he emerged from the closet in my office with a box and asked what it was. When I told him it was a chess training set and asked if he wanted to learn how to play, he responded enthusiastically…and so the chess lessons began. In a matter of weeks, I was being humiliated by a kindergartener, as he began to beat me at almost every game. Joshua was so passionate about chess that he played it every day. If nobody was available to play with him, he would play by himself – both sides of the board. When he learned about regional and state tournaments, he wanted to compete. In that first year, Joshua won a trophy at every tournament he attended.
Where did Joshua get this skill and passion? It is innate in his personality. His personality drives him toward certain activities and causes him to be disinterested in other activities.
In contrast, my daughter Alyssa is a gentle spirited girl who loves reading, spending time with friends, and riding horses. On a recent vacation, we had an opportunity to take Alyssa to watch an equestrian competition. I was confident that this event would be the highlight of her vacation. However, within 30 minutes she was bored. At first I didn't understand why she did not enjoy the event; but after talking with her, it became clear...the problem was that it was a “competition”. Unlike Joshua, Alyssa devalues competition and prefers relational harmony. She would have preferred to spend the afternoon hanging out in the stables and talking with the people who owned the horses.
Career Perspective vs.
Career Perspective vs.
Our personality type was given to us by our Creator to be used for his service, and it inspires, to a large extent, our field of potential interests. Over time, and with exploration, certain dominant interests emerge as passions, and with greater experience, our passions formulate skills. There is a direct linear relationship between our interests, passions, and skills. But how do these dynamics relate to our potential ministry mission?
It is natural for people to look at their passions and skills as markers pointing them toward a career path. However, as Christ followers, it is more important that we interpret our passions and skills as markers intended to direct us to the work our Lord desires to accomplish through us. I want to remind us of the true meaning of the word “vocation.” The word vocation originated from the Latin word “invocatio.” Today, we would more closely translate this word to mean: “To call upon God for help.” Somehow over time, we have twisted the meaning of “vocation” from something God accomplishes through us, to something we do for a living. However, if you indeed desire to fulfill your divine mission in this world, I believe a mental, emotional, and spiritual paradigm-shift will be required. This paradigm-shift will re-orient your thinking and your priorities around a life-emphasis upon invocatio…passionately seeking to discover what God desires to accomplish through you! God’s revelation will then, in turn, drive all of your life priorities, including those involving career decisions.
So, when a boy who has always displayed a high degree of mechanical aptitude becomes an adult, he may chose to become a mechanic. Is being a mechanic his life mission? Well, it depends. Did he choose to serve as a mechanic simply to earn an income? Or, did he allow God to guide his decision-making process, and reveal to him where and how he might serve as a mechanic, in a manner that would best advance the
The fundamental issue before us is whether our passions and skills will be used to serve our own ambitions, or the ambitions of Christ. Table 4-1 illustrates the dichotomy between the common Career Perspective verses a Biblically inspired Mission Perspective:
Career Perspective vs.
God truly desires to accomplish a significant ministry through each one of us. Our personality, and subsequent interests, passions and skills are all intended to point us in the direction of that mission. That significant mission may be accomplished in the context of full-time ministry or lay ministry service, or while serving as salt and light within a secular context (Matthew -16). It is important that we consult God earnestly regarding his desired path for our lives, and not simply assume that we should enter the secular arena. I find it curious that most Christ followers assume that they should follow a secular career path, unless God calls them into a different direction. Rather, should we not assume that God has called us and set us apart for his service and simply ask him, “where” and “how?”
I already hear the voices of skeptics ringing in my ears…"but let’s be practical, I have a family and obligations…I need to make a living!” Don’t you think that God knows these things? Do you recall what Jesus told his disciples when he sent them out into the mission field for the first time?
“….Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep” (Matthew 10:8-10 NIV).
You are God’s worker, and you are “worth your keep.” If God is calling you to utilize the interests, passions, and skills he has developed in you to accomplish a God-empowered invocatio, then he will provide all that you require to accomplish his will. This is a difficult faith-lesson for many Christ followers to learn. Yet, we must be careful not to allow our lack of faith to erect obstacles that will impede or limit God’s ability to accomplish his work through us. While we all are imperfect in faith, should not our prayer be: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark NIV)!
This point was vividly illustrated for me this past summer when I took my family to the beach on
Apart from his job, my friend is a highly creative person who absolutely excels at ministering to children. I asked him if he could do anything he wanted in life, what would it be? He responded that he would love to run a Christian camp for children. So I asked why he didn’t pursue this passion. He responded sadly, “Because any camp director position would pay half the salary that I am currently making.”
I feel for my friend. He has a big beautiful home and a high paying job, but not only is he miserable, but for the sake of money he is potentially limiting his mission impact within this world. My friend would indeed be an outstanding camp director or children’s ministry director. He is perfectly suited for such ministry roles. His personality is ideal for working with children, his ability to communicate creatively is nothing short of phenomenal, he is passionate about ministering to children, and he exudes strong leadership abilities. To my friend’s credit, he does lead the children’s ministry in his church as a volunteer. But I cannot help but feel that God has much more in store for him, if he could only come to the point of trusting the Holy Spirit for help and financial support, rather than trusting in an international corporation.
Within my own my marriage and ministry life, my wife Tamara and I have often wrestled with the question of how each one of us is called to serve the Lord. Tamara is a highly gifted woman with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, and a Masters degree in Communication. She also deeply values ministering to children, especially her own. It has always been my ambition to support my wife and family so that Tamara could invest into our children and into her ministry working with other kids. However, we have both discovered that God’s plans are often quite different from our own.
For years, I had an overwhelming feeling that God was calling me to develop internet tools that would enable churches to extend their disciple-making and ministry-mobilization efforts online. This “calling” seemed to be in conflict with my sense of responsibility to support my family, because the reality was that to develop such tools would take many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a result, I would not be able to receive a salary sufficient to support my family for at least three to five years. I repeatedly tried to devise a way for me to have a full-time salary and work on my “calling” part-time. However, God continued to close each door I tried.
In the course of our struggle to discern God’s leading, a ministry friend by the name of Dan Webster suggested that Tamara and I fly to
It is one thing to identify our various interests, skills, and passions. It is another to discern how God is directing us to use these attributes in our present life context. Remember, the Biblically based process of discernment will include four values-based questions:
2. What is my Primary Focus? (i.e., using my abilities to serve the needs of others)
3. How will I Measure Success? (i.e., by whether I have been obedient to God's leading and empowerment)
4. What is my Faith Focus? (i.e., reliance upon the Holy Spirit)