Twenty years ago, Aimee and Jesse Pratt walked through some “God-sized” life moments that changed the trajectory of their ministry-led lives.
Sensing a call to church planting in March of 2000, the Pratts knew that obedience meant walking through an assessment process with The Wesleyan Church to see if their gifts, talents and abilities matched the huge planting task ahead. The Church Planters Assessment Center came at a pivotal time in the ministry and life of the couple. That experience was so encouraging and enlightening that they prayed how they could be part of the process for others.
Just two years into planting a church in Ohio, God answered that prayer and Jesse was able to begin serving with the Church Planting Assessment Center (CPAC), an event held at The Wesleyan Church (TWC) Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. A couple years later, Aimee joined Jesse.
“What we know is that the Church Planters Assessment Center is a great assessment tool for someone to help discern whether they have the characteristics to be a lead church planter of a large launch model today,” said Aimee. “While it is well vetted and scientific, it is a very specific niche.” Even if someone felt called to plant a different model of church, the assessment process was the same.
So, two years ago, the Pratts and those in leadership over TWC church planting and multiplication began exploring a new assessment option that included assessing for different types of church planting models. A wiring assessment — using 5-6 personality inventories — helps a person discover how they are “uniquely wired for multiplication and ministry.”
While the CPAC asks this question, “Does this planter have the characteristics to be the driver on that bus?” The wiring assessment asks, “What seat on the bus is this person’s best fit?” Other wiring assessment questions include:
- How am I wired?
- How should I be using my gifts?
- Where are the blind spots I don’t see and need to work on?
When the wiring assessments came out, the number of candidates going through an assessment experience increased. Aimee said this is directly related to how TWC sees its lay and clergy — everyone can and should be a multiplier. She reiterated that “wiring assessments are designed not just for church planting” and that “this is more than just church planting; the wiring assessment is good for lay and clergy and help develop people holistically.”
“Assessment has been an integral part of my life,” said Jesse. “Every leader has a lid. For some, their lids are very high. The information in these reports can be taken to heart and explored or dismissed. Either way, the leader is not going to get worse as a result of seeing the scores. However, the information in the results may be the five percent boost the leader needs to bust through their leadership lid. (A leadership lid is the maximum of what we can do without expanding who we are and what we have learned — a limit to what we can do on our own.)”
This year, in 2020, the team has hosted seven assessments, some in person (prior to COVID-19) and the rest via Zoom. A record number of 59 candidates have gone through the process. The yearly maximum in years prior has been 29.
“I think COVID lockdowns kind of forced everybody to go, ‘I know that God’s doing something in my heart. If I can’t meet in person, what’s the best way to move forward with this calling?’ And people being in their homes, they could just get on a computer [to go through the assessment],” said Aimee.
“What the assessment does is let you take an honest look at how you are today, and it puts you up against the mirror of Jesus,” said Aimee. “How has he designed you? And how are you leaning into that? The assessments help show: could you plant a dinner church? Or plant a large church? Is a house church more in your gifting? Would you be better at helping financially support a church plant? Or are you more equipped to support a ministry and be a team member and not lead?”
Since Jesus tells us to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19), a wiring assessment provides an opportunity for lay and clergy alike to help narrow where and how someone is best “wired” to be used in multiplication — no matter one’s vocation.
“Everybody who knows Jesus and has accepted him should be looking at ways they can multiply, whether it’s planting a church, whether it’s starting a small group, whether it’s just being intentional when you go to the grocery store,” said Aimee. “That should be our drive.”
She also noted that, “The Wesleyan Church is fast becoming the example of how to take care of multipliers and planters.” Other church denominations use TWC and its assessment program to train their clergy and lay leaders.
Aimee is proud of the work that has gone into the CPACs and wiring assessments and is excited to continue to be a part of TWC’s trajectory with multiplication.
“It’s obvious that TWC is about disciples making disciples, and we want to celebrate that.”
Read testimonies from multipliers who’ve done assessments.