The importance of assessment
Helping a group of people to pursue God together requires that you evaluate and discern what the group needs to hear and what steps they need to take. This involves thinking and praying about the group as a whole to figure out how to help it move forward.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 When I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other.
The apostle Paul’s evaluation helped him decide how to work with these people. Even though the ultimate goal of every group is the same, every group will be unique. Your assessment helps you know how to share the right truth at the right time and what the group needs next.
How to assess group members
You can get a sense of what’s happening in people’s lives based on the pursue God circle. Do people still need to place their trust in Jesus for salvation? Are there issues where they are still learning to honor God? Are they investing in the lives of others?
Related Topic: Evaluate the Truth People Need to Hear
How to assess the group itself
The simplest way to evaluate the progress of your group is to use the Small Group Feedback Form. This checklist will remind of the group’s long term goals and the kind of environment and relationships you are trying to create in the group to get there. Another helpful worksheet is the Small Group Reproduction Plan. If you hope to launch a new group from yours someday, this worksheet will help you know what to do to prepare for that future time. Use these tools frequently with your team to keep a finger on the pulse of the group and its progress.
The purpose of assessment
The reason to assess your group often is not to judge anyone or bring attention to failures, but simply to make a plan to improve. Always couple assessment with planning. (You can use the Team Meeting Planner worksheet to help you do this as a regular part of your team meetings.) You can’t tackle everything at once. Each time you assess, select one area where you would like to improve. Choose a couple of key action steps to help that happen, and assign which members of your team will do them. Then be sure to follow through!
Let the Spirit lead
As you evaluate the group and its members and respond to their needs, it starts with prayer. Pray for the group on a consistent basis – individually and with your team. Seek God’s guidance on when to take the initiative, when to wait, how to help, what to share, and what next steps to take.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Talk about some areas in your daily life where evaluation or assessment helps you.
- On a scale of 1 (negative) to 10 (positive), how do you feel about doing assessments of your group and its members, and why?
- How can you perform assessment in a way that you don’t become arrogant, judgmental, or frustrated toward others?
- What happens when a leader evaluates but doesn’t make a corresponding plan?
- Why is it important to do assessment with a team?
- Would you let the whole small group do the Small Group Feedback Form together? Why or why not?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.