A New Generation of AssessME
At the beginning of 2023, I was was deeply concerned that COVID had seriously damaged our AssessME.org ministry. Every business analysis suggested the ministry would be bankrupt by Fall of 2023. However, our Lord was faithful, and so was our customer base, enabling AssessME the time needed to restructure and rebuild our platform to make it better than ever before. Around this January 1, Lord willing, the next generation of AssessME.org will launch!
Please take a few minutes to study this article and learn about the incredible new features AssessME.org will soon launch.
The New Price Structure
To ensure that AssessME.org can continue its ministry for years to come, it is long past time that we revise our price structure. Our last revision was in 2015. Since that date, inflation has impacted almost every business. However, rather than raise our prices across all our services, we have decided to restructure from selling Assessment Packs to a Monthly Membership Subscription…which is the same method used by most other Software as a Service (SaaS) providers. The new subscription model will make it easier for any church to get started with AssessME.org. The price structure is as follows….
- AssessME Starter Plan* $25/month 1-25 People (The database fee for current customers)
- AssessME Community Plan $50/month 26-100 People
- AssessME Congregation Plan $100/month 101-500 People
- AssessME Campus Plan $175/month 501-1,000 People
- AssessME Unlimited Plan $300/month 1,000 – 1,000,000
*PRICE ACCOMMODATION FOR ACTIVE MINISTRIES WITH PACKS – [SEE CHART BELOW] Around January 1, 2024, established ministries with a remaining Assessment Pack inventory will be required to confirm your subscription by entering a credit card, and will then be charged the base membership/data access fee of $25/month until your Assessment Pack bank account is depleted. Once your assessment pack inventory is depleted, new registrants will then be applied toward the new fee structure…so even if your church has an established database of 14,000 registered members (and yes, we do have churches that large), your new fee structure will only be $25/month until you reach your 26th new member, then increasing to the $50/month, etc. Failure to affirm subscription will result in the closure of your ministry account.
Current NextSteps Clients: Churches who have been paying $30/month or more for NextSteps will no longer have a second bill. NextSteps will now be fully included into one online invoicing process with our Mobilization Assessment Service…and you will start at $25/month for everything! Saving your church $5/month.
NOTE OUR NEW POLICY: Database access now requires an active membership. Your ministry may cancel your subscription at any time, but doing so will restrict viewing of your data. Closed accounts may be reopened at any time without penalty, subscription rates will continue at the rate established when the account was closed.
The New Admin Dashboard
Again, Lord permitting, we will launch the beta version of our next generation of AssessME.org around January 1, 2024. One of the dominant changes our customers will celebrate is a complete rebuild of our Admin Dashboard.
The new dashboard is patterned after the dashboard we built for our NextSteps software, and in fact, NextSteps is now fully integrated into AssessME (more on this later). NOTE: The dashboard development is in flux and may change as we receive customer input.
The Personality Mix graphic report displays in percentages your church’s unique combination of ePersonality profiles, in essence representing your church’s Organizational Temperament. This also helps your leaders discern temperament deficiencies in your church’s Organizational Temperament. For example, churches devoid of entrepreneurial temperaments will find it extremely difficult to launch new ministry programs. So, if change is necessary for your church, then your leadership must recruit needed temperaments into your ministry body.
The Congregation Assessed report helps your leadership validate how well AssessME.org has penetrated your ministry’s culture.
The NextSteps Progress graphic report shows how balanced your church is between those exploring Christianity, those growing in their faith, and those being equipped for Kingdom ministry service. A lack of balance demonstrates ministry areas in need of additional planning and resource application.
The People Graduated report is tied to the NextSteps Discipleship Tracking & Equipping system, now fully integrated into AssessME.org. This report conveys how many people have matured spiritually from a previous phase of development, to a more advanced phase of development, on an annual basis. Graduation will be fully addressed in the NextSteps portion of this new system update.
Let’s now explore the first menu item entitled: People. We used to call People “Users”, and as a retired pastor, I was always uncomfortable with that term. This is now the master People-Management interface.
The Quick Search feature enables Administrators to enter a name and have that particular person’s information immediately displayed. Otherwise, data sorts based on last name alphabetically. Placing a check in a person’s checkbox identifies that record(s) with a following action to be applied: REMOVE, RESET, PROMOTE.
Data Re-Sort: However, this report can be custom-sorted by selecting a header title, such as ePersonality…then all data will re-sort alphabetically based upon ePersonality profiles. This feature is consistent across all sub-header titles: Name, ePersonality, Leadership Style, graceGIFTS, NextSteps Phase, Felt Need, and Skills. Never before has it been possible to have so much data sorting power at your Administrator’s finger-tips!
Filters: As before, the People report can have various filter-options applied in order to get the exact data you require. The Filter options include:
Candidate Search: It’s still available! The Candidate Search Engine that empowers you to free-form your data selections in order to create ideal profiles for any ministry service opportunity has been completely updated:
Invite People – The final function available from the People report page is our “Invite People” button. This is an automated messaging system that enables church administrators to send an invite-email to anyone they wish to register an account with their church and begin the assessment process. Simply type or paste email addresses into the interface to send an invite to register an account; no typing of a message is required….
For years our churches have requested a better interface for mobilizing specific kinds of people into specific service roles. While this might seem easy, it is not. Because of the unique qualities that embody churches of differing Organizational Temperaments, a one-size-fits-all solution will never work. However, in an effort to provide our churches with highly trustworthy data, we examined the data patterns of all system-wide users since 2005, then created a data reporting system built around the most trustworthy data combinations. This will become more clear as we proceed….
1) MOBILIZATION REPORT
Our Mobilization Report enables your church administrators to find broad categories of people-types based upon a combination of datapoints across numerous assessments. This means, for these reports to function, your people must be instructed to complete all assessments, otherwise they will be excluded from these important reports. Mobilization Report categories include:
- Content Teachers
- Relational Teachers
- System Designers
- Team Leaders
We are using cross-validation of assessment data to identify the most trustworthy candidates that fit a selected Mobilization category. So, for example, your church may have very aptly gifted Administrative-type people who do not make this report because the person’s data has not been validated across multiple assessments. This methodology is called, External Validation. Your discernment must always be applied when mobilizing people into ministry service roles, but especially when mobilizing an individual who assesses outside the scope of our report ideals.
The ePersonality report types that best support the selected Mobilization category will display, and bar graphs will convey how many people are comprised of each temperament-type. This tells Church Administrators that while X-number of people have been confirmed as Administrators, there will be differences is what each Administrator offers based upon their temperament. Your discernment is still essential. We do not know how you plan to apply the data you seek, So, you must still prayerfully review each Candidate and select the best one for your application.
At the bottom of the interface will be a highlighted link telling Church Administrators how many people qualify as, in our present case, Administrators. Our current Demo Account shows that “5 people meet this criteria >“. Selecting this link will take the church Admin to the People Page with that data pre-sorted to only display the five ministry Candidates under review.
2) PERSONALITY REPORT
The Personality Report displays a bar graph representing how many people in your church comprise each temperament profile type. While this bar graph can give church administrators some idea of what temperament types are more common than others, it may also convey the unique mix that comprises your church’s Organizational Temperament. Vacant temperament types, or type categories lacking a sufficient quantity of temperament types to accomplish the vision set forth by leadership, will require intentional recruitment of these types within your church, to enable your church to accomplish its mission goals.
The second part of the ePersonality Report interface continues as follows….
By selecting an ePersonality title, a bulleted summary of that report displays. By selecting the quantity of people assessed as possessing the desired temperament type, the system will open the People Page, pre-sorted with the relevant data.
3) LEADERSHIP STYLE REPORT
All Report categories are consistent in their data layout, so interacting with the interface is quite intuitive. Compare the ePersonality Report above with the Leadership Style Report below….
4) GRACE GIFTS REPORT
The graceGIFTS report will be presented in two parts because the data reported is extensive. Our graceGIFTS assessment has both Gift Category titles, as well as Sub-categories of data we call Gift Expressions. Originally, Gift Expressions were merely descriptions of how people with specific temperaments would utilize the gift in question. However, over time, some of the Creative Categories required further detail. These expanded Gift Expressions may include: Tenor, Alto, Baritone, Soprano, Guitar, Piano, etc. As a result, Gift Expressions are the most essential gift-data that I rely upon for mobilizing the right people, in the right way, for the right position.
The data used for our Demo account came from a past customer that described themselves as “relational praying church”. Look at the number of people who assessed with the gift of Intercessory Prayer – ZERO! Who you think your church is, and what it really is, are two views that are often at odds with one another. Data is your friend. If this was your church, and you truly wanted to instill a culture that valued prayer, what would you do to help your “prayerful people” fan into flame their dormant gift of Intercessory Prayer? As is consistent, the gift data is displayed below along with selected Gift Expression sub-categories….
The number associated with each Gift Title, and each Gift Expression, conveys the quantity of people your church has assessed who have been validated to possess the gift in question, and remember, the selected Gift Expression(s) are Temperament-defined descriptions of how a gift might be used. The selected Gift Expression(s) ought to match the qualities listed in the Candidate’s ePersonality Report. Selecting a displayed quantity associated with a gifting will open the People Report with all report data pre-sorted per the previous selection.
5) SKILLS REPORT
The Skills Report conveys all available Skill categories. For 2024, we are converting our Organic Skills Tracking Program into a hybrid model whereby the interface defaults to display the top skill titles proven to be in high demand by our churches since 2005. People may chose to select from a default Skill Title and then simply add their Micro-Resume comments, or they may opt to create a new Skill category if their skill is not found in the default list. Our hope is that this new format will minimize the desire of some church staff to create their own unique skill list. These practices have proven to provide the least amount of validated skill data to churches, when they try to customize their skill list.
By selecting a quantity associated with an active Skill category, the People Report with presorted data will present the requested information (NOTE: development still to be finalized).
6) FELT NEEDS REPORT
As I stated earlier, the NextSteps Discipleship Tracking & Equipping program is now a fully integrated assessment platform within AssessME.org. Previously, it was a secondary system with its own billing apart from our Mobilization Assessments. Now, NextSteps is fully integrated by default. However, if your church does not want your people to see the NextSteps assessments while your leadership is customizing it, or, if your leadership decides not to use NextSteps, we have offered a functionality within Settings>Options>NextSteps>Inactive or Active, to deactivate NextSteps. From our perspective, permanent deactivation would be a shame and a philosophical error. For we believe that church leadership ought to track people’s spiritual maturation, as well as know the Biblical and ministry equipping your people have undergone.
Now to Felt-Needs….Felt Needs are the emotional/spiritual motivations or obstacles to a person’s spiritual development. There are twelve positive Felt Needs (i.e., motivations), and twelve negative Felt Needs (i.e., obstacles)….
Below the bar graph is the details report field. Here, if you select a Felt Need title, a bulleted pop-up box will convey the qualities associated with the selected Felt Need. If you select the number associated with an active Felt Need, the People Report page will display the person’s data, pre-sorted based upon Felt Need data.
7) Formation Analysis Report
The Formation Analysis report conveys people’s progress in growing spiritually across nine Biblically-defined growth phases throughout your entire church (Our demo version only has three users). This is essential to know how mature people are in their faith in Jesus Christ before asking them to serve in any particular ministry position.
Again, selecting a Category title will pop-up an info-box containing a bulleted summary of the category’s maturation information. Selecting a number associated with an active report will bring the Church Admin to the People Page with the data pre-sorted to accommodate data associated with the selected maturation category.
8) FORMATION PROGRESS REPORT
While our Mobilization Assessments are not designed to be retaken, this is not the case with assessments associated with NextSteps. By default, your people will be invited, through automated email messages, to retake their NextSteps assessments annually. Data from each assessment period is dated, archived, and displayed in various reports. Among these is the Formation Progress Report….
People who are still in their first assessment period will display in blue. People who have graduated from one growth-phase to another will display in green. Your Admin Dashboard will also record how many people have graduated from one growth phase to another as a percentage of People within your platform.
Your leadership can custom-define how the Email Invites to retake NextSteps are sent. Visit Settings>Options>NextSteps for setting adjustments. By default, the system is set up to send retake invites annually from the date of each person’s registration. However, this is not the most powerful setting. I recommend configuring the auto-invites to initiate about two weeks prior to Fall Kickoff so that all discipleship programming offered by the church may be matched to the needs of each person. This is a revolutionary feature that can greatly transform your church for the better. See the interface below….
Additionally, our software enables Church Admins to manually initiate a request for selected individuals to retake their assessments if the Admin believes the NextSteps data is not up to date with what the Lord is doing in the selected person’s life.
New Training Support
Coming very soon, a new book by David A Posthuma entitled: Active Discipleship. This book, like Made for a Mission, was our training resource for church staff to implement our mobilization assessments into their church, Active Discipleship provides the systems and solutions to help churches transform into truly Active Disciple-Making churches!
The Integrations menu item will enable churches to integrate and automate data-flow between AssessME.org and a growing list of Church Management Software Systems. There is a one time setup fee of $125 to help AssessME.org recover the development costs for building the interfaces for these various programs.
The Account menu item provides access to several administrative functions. To access Account, go to Settings > Account.
Features include management of your Ministry Information, Subscription (ministries may cancel at any time), and data export. Additional Administrative functions may be accessed by selecting “Options” under the “Settings” menu. Additional functions include….
Finally, you have about 98% customization ability over the NextSteps Discipleship Tracking & Equipping Program. This is not the place to go into customization details other than to affirm that your Church’s version of NextSteps can truly represent your church’s unique culture. We found during our fourteen years of market research, that no two churches agreed on discipleship language nor process. As a result, NextSteps is NOT a one-size-fits-all application. To access NextSteps customization, select Settings/NextSteps and then select the area you wish to customize….
Your congregation’s software interface will remain largely the same. They will not be aware that all these changes have been made. Taking assessments will remain a simple and friendly experience. However, Church Administrators will cry out for joy! In addition, every aspect of AssessME.org is now mobile-friendly, so Church Administrators will be able to access AssessME on the go! Further development is still in the works. Additional features we hope to bring online in 2024 include:
- Monthly membership payment system (Finally an end to purchasing expensive Assessment Packs!)
- Admin access to ePersonality Flex Reports
- Assignment and tracking of people to specific/multiple departments and service positions
- Additional communication and notification features
- Additional API Integrations (Please offer recommendations!)
Thank you for your patience during this past year when we had no idea what God was up to. But thanks to the Lord, and to our programmer James Wiersma, God clearly has much good in store for our futures together as we all seek to grow in our faith in Christ, and learn to better serve our Lord and His people.
In Christ’s Service,
David A Posthuma, Owner & Systems Designer