James Daman | @jdaman04
As I mentioned in Ministry Buzztrends - Acronyms and Acrostics, I love self-deprecating humor, probably because there is so much I can laugh at myself about. I love being involved in ministries that are authentic and I especially love it when people in ministry don't take themselves so seriously.
In this part two, I'd like to look at how ministries use assessments. Churches are increasingly using assessment tools to help people identify their spiritual giftings and to determine where people should serve.
I recently took a seminary class called Assessing Life and Ministry and I took five assessments on my spiritual life. I was analyzing my thoughts, spiritual experience, likes and dislikes. My first thought was how bad a test taker I was and I was prepared to be the first person to fail one of these assessments. I expected the teacher to look at my results and say, we knew you weren't supposed to be here and ask me to leave.
But, then I realized something, we all fail any assessment that compares us to Christ, because we have all sinned. But, he has died for us, Jesus gave the ultimate spiritual assessment test that no one could pass when he said 'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone'.
Since we all fail that assessment, let's take a lighthearted look at assessments by coming up with the first ever Back Row Assessment Tool!
The Back Row Assessment Tool
On a sheet of paper, draw what the back row looks like in your church or a church you may have visited in the past. After you've done that, we are going to help you do some analysis to see what your drawing tells us about you.
If the back row is drawn towards the top of the paper then you have the tendency to be a positive person. If it is drawn towards the middle then you have the tendency to be a realist. If it is drawn towards the bottom then you have a tendency to be negative. If you drew a lot of details, then you tend to be an analytic person. If you didn't then you tend to focus on the bigger picture. The bigger you drew the chairs, the more intelligent you are. However, if you didn't draw the picture at all then you are the most intelligent person.
That's because, assessments are great tools to help identify some of our gifting, where we might best serve and personality tendencies. However, as it's said in Genesis 1:27 "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." That means we are created in his image and designed for his purpose and we should focus on that and not on a man-made assessment.
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. (Philippians 3:17)
James Daman is the pastor of recovery and discipleship at Focus314, which is a church in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the United States. He is the Celebrate Recovery Regional Director for the Mountain Region and he has interviewed some of the world's most influential people, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, General Tommy Franks and many others. You can contact James on Twitter at @jdaman04.