Paper Assessments vs. Online Assessments: There Is No Comparison

A Common Problem:
Not long ago the Director of Ministry Mobilization for a large church contacted our parent ministry, E-Church Essentials. She was frustrated. She explained that across her office was a stack of black binders five feet tall, full of paper-based assessments. She had no idea how to even begin to use this information, if the information was even accurate, or if many of the individuals still attended her church.

This is a common scenario across North America and Europe. The abundance of assessment data lost in church file cabinets generally results in an inability to mobilize the right people, for the right ministry, at the right time. As a result, church leaders resort to making “pulpit appeals” for help, or running “help wanted” advertisements in the church program or website. Such strategies may provide people to “fill our ministry holes” however they may not be God’s ideal ministry candidates. When people serve from a sense of obligation, or serve in a manner that does not fit their God-ordained personality, gift set, or leadership style, they will almost always experience a high degree of stress, a low degree of satisfaction, resulting in a short term commitment level.

Paper Assessments Appear To Be An Easy Solution:
On the surface, paper-based assessments seem like an easy and inexpensive way to learn about how God has “wired” the people within our churches. But in reality, paper-based assessments are far from easy when it comes to managing the data long term and far from inexpensive when we consider the time and expense incurred when manually tracking an abundance of information. There are three common ways that ministries seek to deal with paper-based assessments:

1) Churches file the paper assessments in a church file cabinet.
Here the filing system does not allow for cross referencing of essential information. If the file is maintained by the member’s name, then there is no way to search for people with particular gifts, personalities, leadership styles or skills. If the files are maintained by gifts, then there is no way to cross reference for the other essential criteria. As a consequence, many ministries using the file cabinet approach do not effectively build and mobilize healthy ministry teams. They are commonly stuck in a dysfunctional cycle of continually trying to “fill holes” in their ministry programming.

2) Churches manually enter data from paper assessments into their database.
Depending upon the size of your ministry, this can be a very costly and time consuming process. It is common for mid to large size ministries to have dedicated administrative assistants whose primary job is to enter and manage this key data within the church database. Considering the time and expense now incurred, paper-based assessments are no longer “easy” or “inexpensive”.

An additional problem is that most databases do not possess robust search features across multiple content areas. So defining a candidate profile based upon combinations of personality, giftedness, leadership styles and skills is generally not possible.

3) Churches Do Nothing.
Many ministries have given up trying to manage assessment data long-term. They may still offer the paper-based assessments in a classroom context, but simply use the reports for the individual’s personal edification. The church then relies upon the individuals to respond on their own to ministry opportunities. The major problem with this approach is that it forces the ministry to always be in a position of “reacting” to ministry needs, rather than proactively building ministry programs and ministry teams. Without the necessary human resource information, the ministry simply cannot maximize their ministry mobilization potential.

The Online Solution:
In contrast to the traditional methods of acquiring and managing the essential information needed to mobilize people for ministry, provides you with all the essential assessments and tools to streamline the entire process. An online assessment center is superior for the following reasons:

1) Broad access to the assessments from your website means that more people can take the assessments. Your ministry is no longer limited to a class environment.
2) The younger generations are less inclined to attend a class, but are very active online. This means your ministry will become more effective at mobilizing the young adults and students within your church…after all they are the future of your ministry.
3) Data entry or management is not required of ministry staff, so they can focus their time and efforts on doing the work of ministry, rather than administering data.
4) All registration and assessment data exports in seconds into Microsoft Office, and may be imported into many major church management programs in just minutes. This streamlines your ministry’s data flow process.
5) Powerful search features enable ministry leaders to define ideal candidate profiles and have instant access to all candidates that match those profiles.
6) Point and click technology is used throughout the online assessment center so non-technical people can utilize it with ease. A paper version of the assessment questions is available for people who do not have internet access…this is the only time ministry staff would need to manually enter assessment data.
7) has priced their Assessment Packs so cost effectively, that your ministry will save over 85% compared to other online assessment programs, and will save substantial dollars through minimizing manual data entry and management by administrative staff.
8) Your online assessment center can be set up and operational in just minutes. There is no registration fee, and no contracts.

Your ministry can try for free. Simply register your ministry, and the system will activate five FREE Assessment Packs so your key decision makers can try it out with no cost or obligation. It has never been easier, more efficient, or more cost effective to assess your people for ministry than by using If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us toll free at 1-800-724-1159.