Church Culture Conference: Assessment Tools

Creating a strong culture in the team at Life.Church is something we’re 100% invested in, so when a few of our team members were asked to be among the speakers at The Church Culture Conference at Willow Creek Church, we were so excited to share what we’ve learned over the last 20 years in ministry.

For session two, Ginger Ward, who leads the Training & Development Team at Life.Church, shared how to use assessment tools to develop the culture of your church staff.

Thoughts from Ginger:

  • Assessments contribute to growth. They help us understand who Christ created us uniquely to be. Often, people don’t actually know what they do best—God has work for us to do, and when we understand who we are, it’s easier to find our calling.
  • People develop best while they’re in the game. At Life.Church, we try not to sequester a new hire in a lot of trainings, but we also don’t throw them into the deep end. Give your new hires things to do, let them take initiative, and offer lots of guidance along the way.
  • It’s difficult for growth to occur without trusted relationships.
  • People grow best when they “own” their growth. One practical tip for helping your team members own their own growth is to make any assessments your church offers readily available for team members to request. People who request an assessment are much more likely to embrace the results and work to grow.
  • If you have a high-feedback culture, you must cultivate a high-trust culture. When your team members take a lot of assessments, receive a lot of feedback, and have a lot of development goals to reach, they must do so in a loving, trusting environment in order to grow healthily.
  • A tip for implementing a new assessment: don’t roll it out; roll it in. Introduce that new tool to your top leaders, and see what their buy-in is like. If it’s not well-received, don’t implement the tool with the rest of the staff.
  • Implementing one tool that clearly impacts the development of your team is better than implementing three tools that aren’t effective.
  • Four tools that Life.Church uses to promote self-awareness are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI & MBTI II), StrengthsFinder 2.0, EQ-I 2.0, and the 360-Degree Assessment. You can try a free 360 tool from Life.Church called PACE at
  • You don’t have to use assessment tools to find self-awareness, but they do help elucidate things you might never have noticed about yourself.

If you want to ask questions or add your ideas about self-awareness tools you’re using, we’d love to hear from you in the Life.Church Open Network community.

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