Another test? I have witnessed several assessments and church growth programs during my time as a church member and as a pastor.
What makes CliftonStrengths different from the usual assessments for spiritual gifts?
CliftonStrengths does not tell us what to do, but how to do what we do.
I want to continue to grow. To me, the biggest sin of all sins, is to be given a gift, a talent, because it’s actually a gift from God, to take that and not cultivate it and make it grow, that’s the biggest sin in the world.Michael Jackson
What does this mean in concrete terms?
An assessment of spiritual gifts often leads to the answer, “I’m an apostle, I don’t have to, nor can I evangelize.” And that is just an example. Use any gift you want.
CliftonStrengths shows me how I respond when I am assigned a task. Depending on the strength, the approach differs. A few examples:
- Ideation: “I already have a thousand ideas.”
- Empathy: “How will the older members of the congregation react?”
- Deliberative: “The first thing is to plan well. After all, there are definitely a few risks to consider.”
- WOO: “I’m excited to meet all the new people.”
In CliftonStrengths domains, that sounds like this:
- Strategic Thinking: “Let me think about it and plan.”
- Relationship building: “Who could I ask to participate?”
- Execution: “Let’s get started.”
- Influencing: “How do I get people to participate?”
As a pastor.
If you attend coaching as a pastor, you’ll learn some things about yourself – but also about others. One small example:
One of my coachees has Belief as his most pronounced strength. Belief works like this: values drive actions. So if somebody believes that “a good Christian is in church every time the doors are open,” he is there every. single. time. After all, that’s the right thing to do. And he doesn’t understand that others don’t find it so easy, even if they share the value. They function with other strengths.
As a leadership team.
When the leadership team attends coaching, we create a strengths’ matrix to see how the team can work together efficiently.
In coaching, we learn how to compensate for weaknesses, how to complement each other, who is best suited for certain tasks, and how to receive energy from the activities we do instead of burning out.
As a community.
Communities with a strengths-based culture experience higher commitment among their members.
When an entire congregation chooses CliftonStrengths, I create an appropriate program with the leadership team.
This includes assessments for each member, as well as training and sermons to change the church’s culture and engage people.