The Assess & Assist Strategy is designed to help churches unite and fulfill their God given purpose for advancing His Kingdom. This strategy brings church members and leaders together in clearly defining their Kingdom Dream. The Kingdom Dream is the purpose of the church which is the convergence of three vital components: 1) What the Bible says is the purpose of the church; 2) What God lays on the heart of the pastor; & 3) The conviction of the local congregation. When these three come together, the Kingdom Dream is revealed.
Why is it important to understand the Kingdom Dream of the local church? Because the Kingdom Dream of the church is like the destination of a journey. Once you realize the direction you are headed on a journey, many things become clear. You understand what direction you need to head, whether or not you are making good time, you know how to make corrections if you get off course, and you can say “No” to those activities which will prevent you from getting to your destination. This is also true of the church. Once the local church understands where it is headed, many things become clear. The Assess & Assist Strategy helps a congregation identify its own unique Kingdom Dream which then leads them to move forward together.
Here is the basic time frame and procedure for engaging the Assess & Assist Strategy:
- Prayer. It is recommended that the local church set out a time of intentional prayer (4-6 weeks) leading up to the beginning of the process. If the congregation is not united in the process and if the Lord is not allowed to move over the hearts of His people, this will simply be an exercise.
- Journey of Discovery. The Journey of Discover is the portion of this strategy in which the understanding of what a Kingdom Dream is and how important it is to the life of the church is revealed. This takes place over 3 consecutive 2 hour meetings (usually three Sunday evenings meeting for 2 hours each). Invitation to these meetings is at the discretion of the pastor, but it is often open to anyone who wants to come. It is important to get as many people involved as possible.During the Journey of Discovery, each congregation will walk through several participatory events which will lead to the discovery of the Kingdom Dream. This helps give people ownership of the church’s purpose & direction. People who have ownership perceive the ministry of the church differently. They are typically engaged and ready to go above and beyond. Apathy is often the result of a confused understanding of the church’s direction, or the lack of understanding about how to get involved. This portion of the process brings everyone to clarity in terms of the church’s purpose, thus bringing excitement and energy to the ministry.The church’s Kingdom Dream becomes its destination. Now everyone knows where the church is to be headed.
- Assessment. In the Assess & Assist Strategy we utilize the Transformational Church Assessment Tool (TCAT) developed by Lifeway Christian Resources. This assessment is the only cost to the church and is based on worship attendance (example: 250 and under in worship attendance pay $200.00 directly to LifeWay). This tool is available on-line or in hard copy. The purpose of the assessment is to gain an objective understanding of the church’s current state based on the 7 elements of evaluation utilized by LifeWay. These elements serve as the new score card for evaluating transformation and relevancy in the local church.These 7 elements (Missionary Mindset, Vibrant Leadership, Relational Intentionality, Prayerful Dependence, Worship, Community, & Mission) are based on areas of connectivity with God. Rather than gauging success on attendance and offerings (which are not true indicators of spiritual growth), these 7 elements look at how individuals within the local church are growing in their relationship with the Lord, with one another, and in reaching the lost around them.In our analogy of a journey, the Kingdom Dream is the destination; and the Assessment identifies the actual location from which the journey is starting.
- TCAT Retreat. Once the assessment quota is completed, a 6-7 hour retreat is scheduled for a Saturday. The retreat is held in the facility of a sister church to ensure there is no cost to the congregation, while at the same time moving away from the familiar surrounds of the home church. This is to reduce the number of potential distractions for the day.During the retreat, a select group of people (14-30 invited by the pastor) gather to go over the assessment findings. The assessment will reveal strengths and challenges for each and every element. The group gathered at the retreat will evaluate these findings and will move to create Action Priorities. It will be from these Action Priorities that Action Plans will be developed.Once again utilizing the analogy of a journey: The Kingdom Dream is the destination; The Assessment locates the true starting point; The Retreat begins to lay out the path which gets the church from its starting point to its destination.
- Associational Partnership. From the conclusion of the retreat the OCSBA commits to walk alongside the church for 6 months, at the pastor’s discretion, to assist in any way possible with carrying out the Action Plans developed from the Action Priorities. The OCSBA team can do training, consulting, mentoring, encouraging, or nothing; all based on the pastor’s leading. It is our desire to see all of the OCSBA churches healthy and relevant in their mission field. In fact, this is the purpose for why the OCSBA exists; Advancing the Kingdom Together!The OCSBA is at your disposal to help in any way possible. Please let us know how we can better serve you. If you have any further questions about the Assess & Assist Strategy please do not hesitate to contact us.