Being assessed

On Monday and Tuesday we participated in a “church planters assessment” with ARC (Association of Related Churches).

Here’s how it went down…

  • In the beginning of May we went to Austin, Texas for the CPR (Church Planter’s Roundtable) where we learned about the ARC planting philosophy and determine whether or not we wanted to pursue a relationship. We did.

Fast forward six weeks…

  • In preparation for this assessment, both Sherri and I had to fill out four different self-analysis tests:
  1. A self-assessment grid in which I had to rate myself on sixteen different questions AND I had to rate Sherri on the same questions. She had to do the same thing!
  2. A LEAD analysis (Leadership Effectiveness & Adaptability Description)
  3. A Spiritual Gifts Analysis
  4. The DISC Personality Factor Profile


  • Monday at 11 a.m. we showed up for an interview with a professional counselor, Chip Judd, who interviewed and confirmed that we are not psychotic.
  • Monday evening, after supper together, each of the thirteen church planting couples had to stand in front and introduce themselves to the group and the assessors. The assessors then asked each couple a variety of random but strategic questions. For instance, they asked me, “When was the last time you cried?” and “Why would people want to follow you?”
  • We were sent home with an assignment due the next morning: write a letter to the lead assessor dated three years from now telling him how things are going in your church! Gosh! That was a great exercise!


  • The 7:30 breakfast/start time came early but we were all there and ready to roll!
  • We got right into things with a “Church Planting Risk Analysis” which looked at eight variables indicating the level of risk associated with each planter. These variables ranged from ministry experience to the location of the church plant.
  • Then we had to “lead our neighbor to Christ.” It was a role playing scenario in which we split up into groups of two and took turns playing the role of the neighbor who did not follow Christ and the “church planter guy”. We had to have the conversation, answer any objections, etc. and ultimately end up praying with them in their moment of surrender to and faith in Christ. All of this was done in front of an assessor who was evaluating this whole experience! As I was praying with my “neighbor”, even though it was a role play, I started to choke up. This is what I am going to do with the rest of my life… help people discover the “rich and satisfying life” Jesus promised (John 10:10)!
  • Following that little experience, we were split into groups and given a case study that we had to work through as a group. Basically it came down to how we would handle a divisive person in the church. After we worked through this case study, in which we were constantly being observed by note-taking assessors, we had to evaluate each other!
  • The pre, during, and post-lunch exercise was a “Model of Ministry Exercise” in which they divided us into groups and we had to pick a city where we would plant a church. Then we had to develop a model of ministry for the particular city to which we were headed including: styles of worship, leadership, discipleship, teaching, etc. After developing the model, our team had to present it to the entire group for a mock check of $100,000! Of course this whole exercise was done under the watchful eye of the assessors! After the presentation they, once again, had us evaluate each other on various issues: ability to work with others, openness to new ideas, servant leadership, etc.
  • We wrapped up the day with one more interview with an assessor. They asked Sherri and me things like: what does your time with God look like? What will a weekend at your church look like? We prayed together and then went home.

It was an intense yet invigorating experience in which we learned a lot about ourselves and got to meet some great new friends! It was also an opportunity to run our vision through the grid of yet another solid church planting organization and hear their affirmation.

I can’t wait to get on the ground and get Walls Down Church started!

4 thoughts on “Being assessed

  1. Congratulations Paul! You are going to do some awesome things. You and your wife really stood out and had to have been without a doubt obvious choices to partner with ARC. It was awesome to hear the vision that God is birthing in you, and to see how prepared you already are.

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