Mary and I just returned from the Evangelical Covenant Church’s church planter assessment. The assessment was held at a nearby Covenant church in Plymouth MN. It started at noon this past Wednesday, May 28, and finished up at noon today May 31st. There were 15 couples being assessed, and around 12 assessors. The assessors included regional church planting directors, church planters, and ECC pastors. The assessment was exhausting and exciting at the same time.
Throughout the week we were asked to do a number of things. I preached a short mini-sermon. I gave a call to ministry presentation. I fielded questions on my call to ministry, my interest in church planting and how I perceived my call to church planting. Mary and I were asked about our relationship and about how we minister together. We worked in teams on church planting case studies. We worked in teams on local church planting strategies. We gave presentations. We were interviewed. From early in the morning to late in the evening the days were filled with these activities and more. It was very, very tiring.
But it was also exciting. The ECC had a couple of career counselors/vocational psychologists that helped us review some of our personality and gift finder tests. They spent a good amount of time unpacking the ins and outs of Golden Personality Test, DISC, and StrengthFinders. These tests along with their interpretations provided some helpful insights into each of our personality types and our modes of operation when we interact with others. I also gained very helpful insights into some of my ministry strengths and areas of growth.
The result of the assessment was a recommendation for us to plant a church. As many of you know, Mary and I have been wrestling with a call to church planting for the last couple years, and we’ve felt like we have been wandering in a dark vocational wilderness for 3+ years as we’ve tried to discern our next steps. This process was an incredibly helpful clarifying event. It both encouraged us in our gifting and helped us gain clarity on our call to ministry. Their recommendation comes with considerable support. It is conditional on us spending some time in a Covenant church in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area honing some of my ministry skills as I prepare to set out and plant. This condition seems very wise, and it gives me even more confidence of their assessment of us.
Mary and I are feeling very, very loved and served by the ECC. The assessors labored all day observing us, and then much of the night deliberating and praying together over us. Their thoughtful assessment has been a means of God’s grace. Right now we are feeling good. I’ll post more in a couple days on Mary’s and my personality types and strengths and what that all means.
Thanks to all who prayed for us and for those who have supported and cared for us through this process!