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An Overview of the NextSteps Discipleship Program by AssessME.org

“Yet there is only one thing I can think of more foolish than trying to gauge spiritual growth. And that is: Not trying to gauge it. For that which matters to us is that which we try to keep track of.”

(John Ortberg, pg 3 of Follow Me)


NextSteps Discipleship is a Real Game-Changer for your Church…

NextSteps is a separate subscription-based program from our Ministry Mobilization Assessments. It may be used on its own, or it may integrate into our Ministry-Mobilization program. NextSteps is a web-based disciple-making solution that will help your leadership to:

  • ASSESS people regularly for their present spiritual formation phase.
  • TRACK people’s discipleship progress, formation-phase graduations, and global discipleship trends for church ministry planning.
  • EQUIP people based upon three broad formation phases: Discover, Develop, and Deploy…with 3 sub-phases each, totaling 9 Phases.

Our spiritual formation program is built around three major phases of spiritual development: Discover, Develop, and Deploy. Each phase supports three sub-phases to account for growth. This results in a total of nine phases of spiritual development. Each of these 9 phases includes an equipping center where your church may define the programs, classes, programs, and other resources that your leadership believes are best suited for promoting spiritual maturation at each developmental phase. Based upon how people score within the assessment, the appropriate Strategies will appear at the bottom of their assessment report, empowering them to take practical steps to mature. Equipping categories include:

  1. Articles
  2. Audio Teachings
  3. Bible Study
  4. Book Study
  5. Classes – Complete with user sign-up & auto-email notification to the class facilitator
  6. Courses – Complete with user sign-up & auto-email notification to the course facilitator
  7. Groups – Complete with user sign-up & auto-email notification to the small group facilitator
  8. Mentor – Complete with user sign-up & auto-email notification to the spiritual mentor
  9. Program – Complete with user sign-up & auto-email notification to the program facilitator
  10. Service – Complete with user sign-up & auto-email notification to the service team facilitator
  11. Videos

The graphic below depicts a screen-shot of the editing interface for each of the nine equipping categories. Your ministry staff determines what resources, classes, small groups, etc. are appropriate for each Formation-Phase….

NextSteps Spiritual Formation
In addition, our custom equipping center also includes an ever-growing “Suggested Resource” library from major Christian publishers, programs, and Bible teachers. This library allows your church to get up and going with NextSteps quickly.

NextSteps Is Completely Editable –

And catch this…NextSteps permits your leadership to edit the question pools, and all reports, so that the overall assessment tool may more closely match your church’s unique discipleship culture!

NextSteps Is Designed to be Retaken –

Unlike our long-established ministry-mobilization assessments, which are based upon static personality dynamics and are intended to be used only once, the NextSteps program assesses disciple-making, which is a very fluid and dynamic process. The NextSteps program can be set to automatically remind your people to retake the assessment every six (6), twelve (12), or eighteen (18) months; either based upon the date each person registers, or based upon a global church-wide reassessment date (Example: September 1).

Part 1: NextSteps Felt-Needs – 

The assessment portion of NextSteps comes in two parts…

  1. Part 1 assesses an individual’s “Felt-Need”.
  2. Part 2 assesses linear spiritual developments over nine phases.
A felt-need is generally tied to an emotional motivation that drives people’s spiritual formation, or at times, hinders one’s spiritual formation. An example of a felt-need that may hinder spiritual formation. For example, if Mary is presently undergoing a painful divorce, she will be likely dealing with emotional and spiritual issues related to acceptance, guilt, anger, resentment, rejection, forgiveness, self-worth and the like. At this point in Mary’s life, it is less important that she graduates from the Develop/Participation phase to the Develop/Preparation phase. Rather, Mary needs to be loved. She needs people to walk with her through this painful time in her life. An example of a felt-need that may drive an individual’s spiritual formation, would be that of John who is hungry to learn more about the Bible. Without a solid Biblical foundation, John cannot mature in his faith relationship with Jesus Christ.
The graphic below is a screen-shot of the editing interface for the Felt-Need reports
NextSteps Spiritual Formation

Part 2: Nine Formation Phases – 

Part 2 of the NextSteps assessment associates every user with one of nine spiritual formation phases: Three phases for “Discovering Christ”, three phases for “Developing in Christ”, and three phases for being “Deployed for Christ”. The assessment tracks every user’s discipleship history and the dates of their formation-phase graduations. User data can then be graphed globally to provide pastoral leadership with an honest perspective of their church’s spiritual development, and make appropriate programming changes to support the needs represented within the congregation.

The graphic below is a screen-shot of the editing interface for the nine Formation-Phase reports
NextSteps Spiritual Formation

Global Reports:

A Snapshot of Your Church’s Spiritual Health – The NextStep’s Global Reports allows church leadership to get a snapshot of your congregation’s overall spiritual health, and armed with that information, align your budget, programming, and human resources to best address the discipleship needs of the majority. The two screenshots below represent just one portion of the Felt-Need Global Report and the Formation Phase Global Report.

NextSteps Spiritual Formation
NextSteps Spiritual Formation

Sample Report –

See a sample NextSteps report below….

NextSteps Spiritual Formation

How to Cancel a NextSteps Subscription

If your ministry no longer wishes to continue with your NextSteps Spiritual Formation subscription, login to your administrative account and complete the following  directions:

  • Select the NextSteps Dashboard
  • Select “Settings” from the left sidebar menu
  • Locate the Subscription box and select “Update”
  • Select “Cancel Subscription”
  • Confirm selection