Assessments can be good tools for us to determine how our ministries are aligning with God’s purposes for our Church. In using them, however, let’s be sure that we also look at the results through the lens of our Church Purpose.
If our primary purposes are to love God with all of who we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves, then the way we use the assessment results must also reflect that love.
Ways We Might Use Assessment Results That Counteract Love
1) To brag about the results of the assessment does not line up with God’s definition of love.
Love … does not boast, it is not proud. (1 Cor. 13:4)
2) To berate ourselves or others because of the assessment results demonstrates a lack of love.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:5-7)
In both of the above cases, attention turns to ourselves — OUR strengths, OUR weaknesses. Instead, we need to turn our attention to how it makes God look or feel and how it builds up others rather than tear them down.
Ways to Use Results to Line Up with Our Purpose to Love God and Others
1) Give glory to God, not yourselves.
But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Cor. 10:17-18)
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14)
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3)
2) Give people a reason to grow, not to feel condemned.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 Jn. 4:18)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Cor. 12:9)
And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thess. 5:14)
You’ll find this content about assessments and our church purpose in the Steering the Church Toward God’s Purposes Leadership Guide.