<image courtesy of billy verdin>
Beginning Tuesday, Sarah and I will be attending the Church Planter Assessment Center as part of a potential ‘next step’ (a special thanks Western PA District of The Wesleyan Church, who is investing the cost of attending CPAC in Sarah and me); we’ll be there with two other couples, including Rick and Eunice Cox, who are also from the WPA District. If time and energy allow, I’ll be posting reflections of the day’s activities each evening (be warned, it may be nonsensical gobbeldy-gook or nothing more than a terse sentence); hopefully, if you’re thinking of being assessed, it will help answer some of the questions you may have. It will also be a good read (I’m hoping!) for those of you who are curious about the planting and pre-planting processes we use.
In the meantime, it might be helpful to know what the Assessment is all about. Here’s how the Assessment Center describes itself:
We are confident that this will be a powerful and highly worthwhile personal experience that will provide you with greater self-awareness about your ministry strengths and gifts, as well as your potential for church planting success. You and your sponsoring district or parent church will receive an objective, team-based evaluation to help you both make the wisest possible decisions about your church planting leadership.
In other words, the people of the Center look at the likely success of an individual or couple as the ‘lead planter(s)’ in a new church. The result of a fairly intense, multi-day process is an evaluation focused simply on the likely success of the potential planter articulated as a “Green Light,” “Yellow Light” or “Red Light.”
Red Light… is an indicator that the potential planter is not likely to find themselves effective in a planting environment right now.
Yellow Light… indicates the potential planter is more likely to find success in a planting environment if certain growth areas are given due attention.
Green Light… indicates that the evaluators feel the planter is likely to find success/effectiveness in their endeavors.
It’s important to note, again, this relates just to church planting and isn’t a judgment on people, personalities or ministry calling; it is meant to help potential church planters and the districts, churches, and individuals which invest in new churches to thrive. A ‘Red Light’ shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, but more as an aid in discerning whether or not planting is the right ministry path for someone right now. A ‘Green Light’ doesn’t mean one person/couple is ‘better’ than another, but that they seem to have the gifts and personal traits that tend to be found in effective church planters. A ‘Green Light’ isn’t a guarantee of ‘success’, either.
This all helps to make sure that someone isn’t setting themselves up for failure, and that they are designed for/capable of handling the unique stresses, pressures, and situations that are involved in attempting to launch a new, Kingdom advancing church. From the outside, it looks like a great opportunity for someone with potential to be a planter to find out if planting really is the right step for them.
If YOU feel like God might be leading you into the direction of planting a church, you should connect with Shawn Cossin and surf on over to Uought2.org. And, maybe one day, we’ll see YOU at assessment!
This entry also posted at theydidwewill.blogspot.com, the blog of the Church Multiplication Task Force of the WPA District of the Wesleyan Church.