Greetings all,

Multiply17 isn't far away, and that's a prime time to have your church planting plans assessed by Geneva Push. You might have noticed that the Geneva Push network is very big on assessment. What you might not understand is what assessment is, and why it's important. So this month we decided to make every aspect of this vital process easy to access and understand so that you can become inspired and prepare yourself for the task – or maybe encourage someone else?

In short, assessment is what Geneva Push calls the task of evaluating the character, marriage and plans of a potential church planter so that, under God, they have the best chance of success as they set out to grow a new congregation. Research by international missiologist Ed Stetzer has demonstrated that the congregations of church planters who have been rigorously assessed have a far higher chance of still being there five years from their launch date. But you can read everything you need to know about Geneva Push assessment here – including the best news. It's free :o)

But that doesn't mean it won't require a lot of work. As Al Stewart is fond of saying, “We want to test your eyes, not just count them!” So to make it that much easier, we've assembled a bunch of resources to help you think through the entire assessement process…

Why get assessed? –  Lee and Cathra Murray (newbie church planters) tell us why they got assessed,  and Al Stewart on why he thinks assessment is a no-brainer.

When should I get assessed – Andrew Heard, the senior minister at EV Church on NSW's Central Coast talks through the sort of qualities he looks for when gauging if someone is ready to go, and sorting out your personal time frame for being assessed.

What's the assessment process like? – Mikey Lynch leads a panel on The A-Z of Assessment, Al Stewart talks to Scott Sanders about what he and his team specifically look for when conducting an assessment interview.

What about the better half of the team? – Geneva Push believes in supporting a team approach to church planting, but many wives find the process daunting. Cathie Heard provides two really helpful videos on calming the nerves on what to expect and what not to worry about, and how to put the assessors to work for you!

Do I have to worry about the word 'No'? – The short answer is no. You can't fail an assessment interview; it's there to help you sharpen your plans. There are a number of recommendations the assessment panel can make ranging from 'Go! Go! Go!' to 'Hold on Tiger!' (NB not our official designations!), but they're all designed to help you refine your approach to church planting. So our last resource, again from Andrew Heard, addresses what it means to 'fail' an assessment.

Praying the above resources help you on your way to become one of the hundreds of Godly Christians evangelising churches into existence across Australia!

– Ed.