Can You Handle It?

If you read my last post, I talked about building a dream team that is willing to sacrifice and journey with you.

I mentioned the assessment process I went through. Shortly, after that four days my wife and I spent in Baltimore, I received a 60-page evaluation in the mail. I share some of this with you to give you an idea of this whole process.

Here is what they said about me and my wife.
nm_handleit
If you read my last post, I talked about building a dream team that is willing to sacrifice and journey with you.

I mentioned the assessment process I went through. Shortly, after that four days my wife and I spent in Baltimore, I received a 60-page evaluation in the mail. I share some of this with you to give you an idea of this whole process.

Here is what they said about me and my wife.

The assessment team observed traits reflected in Craig and Jeanette which are summarized
below.  These traits are affirmation of Craig and Jeanette’s character, talents, gifts and experiences.

For Craig
• Is a Strong Leader who can work with others and advance the team significantly.
• Has Great Vision beyond the details with which he is tasked.
• Has good Communicator skills and uses them well.
• An Evangelist who has a heart for those who are far from God.
• Is Tenacious and won’t quit until the job is done.
• A Variety of experiences has prepared him for significant ministry in the future.
• Communicates a Passionate conviction of personal beliefs and values.
• Is a Pro-active makes things happen person.
• In touch with Post-modern culture.
• Call is obvious and has been tested.

For Jeanette
• Strong faith in God is evident in how she approaches hardships as well as blessings.
• A committed parent who readily admits the challenges of raising a family.
• Has Dealt with difficult life issues.

Together
• They have what appears to be a very Strong marriage.
• They are an Attractive couple who operate easily together in social settings.
• They are Risk takers and have an adventurous spirit.
• They are a Strong team.
• They have a Strong dependence and support of each other.

We are an attractive couple. The fact that they even mentioned something so trivial as that bothered me. Would you write “they are an ugly couple” or “they are a fat couple”? No. Anyways, that was the positive. The other 60 pages or so has positive information about our past and our relationship and personalities. What you will read next is what ultimately stopped us from moving forward with the supporting agency. One guy. One page out of 60 that was written basically squashed any chance at moving forward.

Craig’s summation at the end of the process was that XXX Church will be
radically different in Vegas from new churches that are typically being planted. The
emphasis of Craig’s vision is not corporate worship, community building, or
congregational reproduction per se, rather a complete focus on outreach and
interventional evangelism. This approach has created quite an impressive ministry for
Craig and XXXChurch so far, although it is reliant on partner support financially.

It is an awkward final disposition I find myself writing, because I expect Craig will be
successful at whatever he feels called and determined to make happen. So in that
sense, as a “ministry assessment” I would say the expectation of assessment is “success.”

On the other hand, evaluating Craig’s plan based on sustainability and ongoing impact
as a church, I have reservations. I would have to say that I do not have a high
expectation that this ministry would become self-supporting in a fixed period of time,
reproduce other congregations, or develop a growing fellowship that impacts the culture
where it is located.

To some extent, I agree with Craig’s evaluation that “church planting is tired.” Methods
of creating communities of faith must always be updated and freshened, and I aspire to
being open to creativity and progress in strategies. However I do not see the scope of
XXXChurch as it currently exists becoming the equivalent of a new church that brings a
holistic approach to faith and life.

Respectfully submitted,
@#$((@!!  Core Assessor

It is what it is. This guy does not get what we are trying to do. It does not fit inside the existing bubble we have asked new church plants to exists within, and after four days and only two short meetings privately with him, he is going to write the thing off because it does not fit inside the box. Did Jesus ever say anything about planting churches? Or did Jesus ask us to make disciples and tell people about Him?

Apparently, these days what defines a successful church plant is

– Become self supporting in a fixed period of time
-Reproduce other congregations
-Develop a growing fellowship that impacts the culture where it is located.

Why does anyone HAVE to do that? Why should anyone DO that? I told the assessor that I thought the “assessment process was tired.” I wonder why the average size of a church is still less than a hundred. Because we have started believing that these three things are what we HAVE to do if we want to start a church.

See Also

The assessor wrote:

“The emphasis of Craig’s vision is not corporate worship, community building, or congregational reproduction per se, rather a complete focus on outreach and interventional evangelism.”

I absolutely love it. I have moved to Las Vegas to start a church called “The Strip Church,” reaching out to the millions of people that visit Vegas during conventions, reaching out to the brothels, the strip clubs and those on the Strip. Not wondering or caring if they come to a service or really even come back at all. A church that focuses on outreach and interventional evangelism is what we will do, but what I found out is apparently it is not really a church after all. But then again that’s what they have said about XXXchurch for the last 7 years.

I am not pissed. As much as I disagree with his assessment. It is what it is. It is someone else’s assessment. I saw this as an answer to a prayer. I prayed for the support of the organization and that $400,000 to come in over the next three years on a lovely scheduled basis, and I would be an official church planter.

Instead. I slept on a bunk bed in an apartment for four months. Moved our offices into a 300-square-feet office with a team of people that have given up a lot to be in Vegas. There is no $400,000. There will not ever be another assessment center that I would drag my wife to. What remains is a call that God placed in my life to share the Gospel. A challenge to bring a different kind of light to the brightest skyline in Nevada.

Will it be easy? No.

Will it be the most difficult thing we have attempted? Yes.

Will we gather the support of everyone? Have we ever.

We will continue forward? Absolutely.

Would you?

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