Week Long Colonoscopy...
...that's how I described where I've been for the last week of my life. I say it in jest but it has certainly been an introspective few weeks.
As you may or may not have noticed, God has been working me over this year. He's obviously got a plan He's working in and through me whether I like it or not. The 'or not' is just about over and I'm living in the 'liking it' part right now. Actually I'm loving what He's doing.
As a part of the process Kristy and I spent the last week in Wisconsin at the Green Lake Conference Center doing an assessment with about 22 other couples. The goal of the assessment is to really get to know yourself in ALL your glory. It's kinda like the new x-ray machines at the airports that can see through your clothes. Uncomfortable but necessary.
Anyway at the end of the week I can say several things about the process. I hope some of the things I've learned would give you insentive to avoid comfort and find ways to "assess" yourself. These are some of my take-aways:
1. Kristy and I grew together.
After 10 years of being a couple, 7 years of marriage, 1 toddler and 1 pregnancy... we're tight. Although we were already tight this week gave us both new appreciation for one another.
For one I was able to see Kristy shine. She's normally a quiet and reserved woman but this week she was put into situations that required her to speak up and give input. I was pumped to see her shine when put to the test. Several people spoke to me about how amazing she was in small group activities and in providing wisdom to the team exercises. I was glad to see that and she even felt more confident knowing that God has gifted her in ways she hasn't always had the opportunity to use.
Kristy enjoyed seeing me in 'my element'. The week comes down to leadership. We've kept boundaries between ministry and our family so Kristy previously hasn't seen me during the sausage-making parts of ministry. She's usually in on the outcome and has less to do with the process. For both of us we spent a week on planes, in hotels, answering questions, etc.
We really found that we compliment and represent one another very well. It was pretty cool.
2. I learned more about myself.
I love taking assessments and learning about why I do what I do. This week provided another opportunity to gain insight into myself so that I could be a better leader in the Church at large. Nothing shocked me this week but many things helped inform me. I would recommend to everyone reading to take time to use the instruments we used this week: Myers Briggs (or Golden Personality), DISC and StrengthFinders. These instruments help you to understand how God created you. When you combine them with things like Spiritual Gifts, interviews and group projects, you begin to see how you're wired.
I kept thinking this week "What if the entire church was able to know themselves this way?" and "We could avoid so much conflict if we'd simply put people in their sweet spots!" I'm going to investigate that possibility. I think Tadd's church is headed in this direction and I like it.
3. Some things to highlight, some things to tweak.
Overall I was given a positive response. The assessors gave about 10 areas that they see a lot of strengths. They also however gave me one area to work on. I'm going to spend the next few weeks and months finding ways to better utilize the 10 positives so that I can be in my sweet spot while finding a way to learn more and grow in the key area they highlighted.
The assessors encouraged me to talk more with a coach about how to incorporate even those who rub me the wrong way. I agree with their assessment of that area and I've already begun reading and talking to folks to improve that aspect so that I can be more effective. At the end of the day I walked away with a green light and some solid advice. I appreciate having these men and women speak words of wisdom into my life and I look forward to seeing how I can improve. If you've never opened yourself up to this type of guidance I certainly encourage you to do so. It's pretty encouraging.
4. Excited about the future. There is power in knowing your strengths. There is power in knowing the gifts and strengths of others. I'm so excited to move to my next stage of ministry and effectiveness armed with the affirmation of my gift-mix. While the assessment itself was tiring and at times challenging I walk away excited about the future. I already know for certain that I'm going to incorporate some version of this assessment for all future staff members of our team. I think it's that vital.
If you're on a staff team I encourage you to take the time and money to get a proper assessment of your team. You may find that you have the right team members but they are just in the wrong "seats on the bus". You may find that one or more team members don't belong on the bus. No matter what the goal should be to help everyone get into their unique groove to make much of Jesus and make his name famous among the nations.
Thanks for understanding my absence. You can look forward to more regular posts in the upcoming days and weeks.
Resources: Tests- For $79 you can use ELI to take most of the tests mentioned (Golden Personality, DISC and 360 Assessment). You'll need to go to strengthsfinder.com to find your top five strengths. With all of that data you can sit down and begin the process of understanding yourself better or you can contact me and I'll put you in touch with some folks who can help you interpret the results. ELI Website: http://www.churchplanterprofiles.com Tell Craig I sent ya! (It won't do anything but you can tell him.)
There are places out there where you can get the individual tests done but ELI has a great initial assessment and I've actually used them so I'd prefer to keep it simple by pointing you to them.
posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, August 25, 2008
- At 6:33 PM, Craig said...
Thanks for the plug! Look forward to hearing more about your experience...
- At 6:47 PM, Happy Mommy said...
It sounds like a wonderful experience! I am glad to hear how great you and Kristy compliment each other, isn't it cool when God blesses us! How is Kristy's pregnancy going? Glad to see you back today.