Assessment: Measuring Progress toward a Goal
Merriam Webster defines assessment as “the act of making a judgment about something.” What that “something” is determines the information needed to “make a judgment.”
Several years ago Baptist Church Planters and ChurchCare decided that we needed to do some assessment. The administration spent two days answering questions such as ‘what is important to God’ and ‘what is the end product that we expect from all the ministries of this Mission.’ All the questions led to one answer: the Church, the Body of Christ, is important to God; therefore, we expect all the Baptist Church Planters’ ministries to focus on serving the Church. The reason for our existence is to facilitate that never-ending cycle of planting, strengthening and reproducing local churches. We arrived at our judgment through honest discussion, some very objective measurements and helpful counsel from outside our organization. Those two days of assessment guide our ongoing evaluation and measurement of our policies and processes to ensure we continue on the path of improvement.
Churches also need to assess, evaluate, measure and pass judgment on themselves to determine whether they are fulfilling their God-given purpose. Every believer is to be engaged in living out the Great Commandment and carrying out the Great Commission. Making disciples leads to teaching and training disciples to become disciple-makers. As disciples are trained and more disciples are made, the church has the resources and the personnel to reproduce themselves by planting or revitalizing another church. The cycle of the Great Commission continues as churches reproduce themselves.
A healthy church will constantly assess their focus and the results of their efforts. A recent article I read stated that more than 3500 churches close each year and that 85% of churches are plateaued or in decline. “That which is measured … improves” (Peter Drucker). Does your church have a method to measure and ensure improvement?
The information needed to make a judgment or to assess whether a church is moving toward the goal of carrying out the Great Commission requires taking inventory and asking hard questions. Spending time as leaders and then as a church family to consider what is important to God, to evaluate current ministries, and to determine where the church is investing its resources are critical methods of measurement. Examining the fruit from those efforts will then reveal the “gaps” or areas that need attention. Once the church identifies the “gaps,” a judgment, a Biblical process or plan, can be set in motion under the direction of the pastor and leadership team. This plan may require changes in ministry and may include some form of revitalization process. Change will not come easily and will include an element of risk. If you truly want what is important to God, you must submit your desires to conform to His desires.
Baptist Church Planters and ChurchCare have several ministries that are designed to evaluate and assess church ministries and help identify areas needing attention. We can also provide counseling, guidance or leadership based upon the need and the request from the church. These ministries are:
Intentional Discipleship Ministry
Intentional Transitional Ministry
BCP Youth Ministry
Church Revitalization Process
We exist to facilitate churches to stay on course to becoming healthy, reproducing churches. Check out our websites www.bcpusa.org and www.churchcare.org where you will find resources and information designed to encourage and facilitate church ministry. We stand at the ready to assist churches to become more healthy and reproduce (plant) healthy churches.
BCP Executive Vice President