For Pastor Dave Chandler of Lake City Foursquare Church, an assessment provided the catalyst to address the areas in his church needing change.
Lake City is in Moses Lake, Washington, a growing community located in a rural area in the center of the state with an agricultural history, but a burgeoning manufacturing and technology companies.
Averaging around 350 people today, the church had gone through "some pretty hard times" according to Chandler.
So when his denominational district decided to use the Transformational Church Assessment Tool (TCAT), he thought it would be a good time to take a check.
Much of the assessment provided encouragement to Chandler and his leadership. "Generally, everyone gave us high marks," Chandlers says, "much higher than I would have given us."
What did not surprise him were the areas that came back lower than they would like—discipleship, community and small groups.
Realizing these areas were the weakest provided an impetus for the church to make changes that had previously been resisted.
"We were doing a traditional Wednesday night service and people wanted to keep it," Chandler says.
"But when we came back with the results and showed them that people wanted small groups and we didn't have any, that gave us the ammunition to start doing what we needed to do."
Having previous negative experiences with small groups, Chandler says he was hesitant to start them at Lake City, but he knew they needed to do more with discipleship and community.
Instead of making haphazard changes, Chandler and the church decided to be deliberate in the adjustments to make sure things were done right.
TCAT "gave us the impetus to chart a path and took the pressure off to do things quickly," he says.
Moving forward, Chandler sees real growth at Lake City. "For the first time in the 12 years I've been here, I can lay out exactly how we are taking somebody in through the front door and disciple them out," he says.
The TCAT process has been so beneficial to the church, Chandler says they expect to take it again next year.
For pastors considering using an assessment, he would encourage pastors to do it even if they believe they know what areas need to be changed.
"If a pastor's been at it very long at all, he knows what needs to be done," Chandler says. "But TCAT gives the kick in the pants needed to get going on what needs to be done."
More information about the TCAT can be found online at tcat.lifeway.com.
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