Benchmark Small Group Strategies
Small groups can be a wonderful venue for launching and supporting AssessME.org within your church. However, to be successful with AssessME.org, it should not simply be seen by staff and the congregation as merely a small group learning or discussion series. Churches that are successful with AssessME.org make AssessME a fully integrated part of their church culture. Let me first discuss benchmark small group strategies, and then how to successfully integrate AssessME.org into your church culture.
1) Small Group Strategies –
Leadership must first determine the extent that they want their small group leaders involved in the church’s overall volunteer mobilization strategy. The typical options are as follows:
- Simple: Launch AssessME through Small Groups
- Moderate: Use Small Groups to Train Group Members
- Difficult: Use Small Groups to Mobilize Volunteers
SIMPLE: Launch AssessME.org
It is easy to use your small group program to help launch your AssessME.org assessment program. Your group leaders need only to share with group members your church’s unique Assessment Page URL, see samples below.
And if activated, the Registration Code Key (Warning: Activating the Code Key will significantly reduce the numbers of people in your church who will register and take the assessments).
Your small group leaders should be equipped to introduce each assessment and be able to explain why each assessment is important.
- The ePersonality – Built upon the proven Myer-Briggs construct, it is a sociologically validated assessment, with a proven 89% accuracy rate. All other assessment results are judged accurate in as much as they agree with the ePersonality.
- The GraceGifts – The GraceGifts assessment provides “Gift Expressions” which are personality defined ways the people will make use of their gifts.
- Leadership Style – Helps explain how the Body of Christ, and its many parts, fit together in team-based ministry service.
- Organic Skills Tracking – Enables your people to create skill categories and micro-resume’s related to their skills. Our skills are an outgrowth of the personality God has given us. Our personality determines the kinds of experiences we like or do not like. The experiences we like, over time and through experience, formulate as skills.
- NextSteps Disciple Making – Helps church staff to meet you at your point of need to help your faith in Christ to grow stronger and your relationship with Christ, more intimate.
We recommend the assessments be completed in the following order: 1) ePersonality, 2) Leadership Style, 3) GraceGifts, 4) Skills, 5) NextSteps (i.e., if activated). The small group leaders should also be able to explain what will happen once each member completes their assessments. Common options include:
- A ministry fair of Internal and off-campus para-church ministries
- The pastor’s class seminar, to help people know how to apply their assessment report information
- Personal pastoral follow-up
- If using Church Community Builder, then create “JOBS” with assigned AssessME.org assessment report title types. People who match each JOB Profile will view the posting within their account and may “APPLY” for the position.
- Leadership makes use of the AssessME.org Candidate Search Function to define ideal profiles based upon combinations of personality, spiritual gifts, leadership style, skills, and spiritual maturity, for any ministry service role. The result will be a short-list of matching candidates that leadership may relationally and proactively meet will to explore whether God may be calling any of the people on their short-list to the available service functions.
In fact, an ideal follow-up plan would include all these strategies.
MODERATE: Use Small Groups to Train Small Group Members
A more challenging benchmarked small group model uses group leaders to facilitate a small group study through the book, Made for a Mission. David A. Posthuma wrote this book specifically to serve as an equipping tool for AssessME.org users. The book includes personalized workbook pages that help each reader interpret and apply the AssessME.org reports to their own life and ministry calling. By the end of the book, each reader will understand why God created them as he did, also, the general purposes for which they were created, and the kinds of people they need to partner with to maximize their ministry impact.
Small group leaders would greatly benefit from weekly pre-training sessions where the staff member overseeing all small groups would model how they would teach through that week’s upcoming chapter. In addition, small group leaders should be pre-equipped with sample questions to ask which will help facilitate sharing and discussion. They would also benefit with suggested answers to commonly asked questions.
Finally, the small group leaders should also be able to explain what will happen once each member completes their assessments. Common options include:
- A Ministry Fair of Internal and Off-Campus Para-Church Ministries
- The Pastor’s Class Seminar, to Help People Know How to Apply their Report Data
- Personal Pastoral Follow-Up
- If Using Church Community Builder, Then Create “JOBS” with assigned AssessME.org report types. People who Match Each JOB Profile Will View the Posting within their Account and May “APPLY” for the Position.
- Leadership Makes Use of the AssessME.org Candidate Search Function to Define Ideal Profiles for Any Ministry Service Role and to Build Effective Teams.
The ideal follow-up plan would include some combination of some or all these strategies.
DIFFICULT: Use Small Group Leaders to Mobilize Each Group Member
Today it is common for churches to challenge their small groups to serve together in various community service projects. While these service projects are wonderful group bonding and service opportunities, these experiences are not what AssessME.org means by “Volunteer Mobilization”. Our goal is to help each person identify and ultimately fulfill God’s calling upon their life. In all honesty, this is a task that is likely beyond the scope of most small group leaders. Our philosophy asserts that how God designed a person points them in the direction of the kinds of ministry service that would best fit them. However, identifying one’s life-calling may yet be years away. The goal at present is to help church members practice and perfect the kinds of ministry service roles that fit them best. Additionally, your people need to learn how they best fit within a ministry team, and to serve that team with humility and excellence. The average person does not know how to serve in partnership with other people. Some people have authority issues and do not presently serve well under the authority of appointed leadership. These are growth traits that make take years to mature. For this reason, we have not yet observed a successful benchmark church program that relies solely on its small group leaders to mobilize each of their group members to fulfill their life’s calling. At most, a small group can provide general support, encouragement, counsel, and prayer.
Creating an AssessME Culture Within your Church
The most important implementation strategy is to appoint a leader who will oversee the equipping of all pastors, staff, and key lay leaders on how to use AssessME.org to find the best candidates and build effective teams. This role commonly falls under the function of a Human Resource Administrator or Volunteer Coordinator. This person must ensure that your church leaders do not view AssessME.org as one of many church programs. For, if AssessME.org will succeed within your church, it must integrate into every program your church offers. Every pastor must be assessed before hiring. Every prospective staff member must be assessed before hiring, and every volunteer must be assessed before mobilizing them into service roles.
But creating an AssessME.org culture within your church goes much further than having everyone take the assessments, your pastors and staff must be equipped to use AssessME.org to personally search for prospective ministry candidates, and use the AssessME.org data to build effective teams. The Human Resource Administrator or Volunteer Coordinator must serve as the ministry’s primary source for leadership equipping so that every leader within your church is equipped and able to identify appropriate ministry candidates and to mobilize them within their sphere of ministry responsibility. In this way, the Human Resource Administrator or Volunteer Coordinator does not function as a bottleneck that controls mobilization, but rather as an equipper who trains and releases all other leaders within the church to mobilize as many people as possible into Kingdom ministry service.