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Christian Journey Assessment and Planning Guide

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Growing My Faith Walk

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Sharing the Life-Changing Love and Grace of Jesus Christ

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Table of Contents

Introduction ........................................................................................................... 3 The Call of the Christian Walk (Christian Core Values for Living) ......................... 5 Core Value #1 Grow Continuously in Faith and Service ........................... 6 Core Value #2 Pray Without Ceasing........................................................ 7 Core Value #3 Worship Daily with all our Hearts, Minds & Souls.............. 8 Core Value #4 Tithe .................................................................................. 9 Core Value #5 Welcome Everyone Warmly ............................................ 10 Core Value #6 Study God's Word ........................................................... 11 Core Value #7 Witness Boldly................................................................. 12 Core Value #8 Submit to God's Will ........................................................ 13 Core Value #9 Forgive as Jesus Forgives Us ......................................... 14 Core Value #10 Live with Integrity........................................................... 15 A Christian Journey Assessment Process .......................................................... 16 Self-Assessment ...................................................................................... 16 Partner Assessments ............................................................................... 22 Self-Assessment & Partner Assessment Totals ....................................... 41 Christian Walk Celebration & Discernment ......................................................... 42 Celebrating Your Strong Core Values ...................................................... 42 Discerning Possible Areas for Growth...................................................... 43 Discerning God's Call for Growth ............................................................. 44 Christian Growth Development Plan ................................................................... 46

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Introduction What is this Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide All About?

Being an active Christian is about two things: 1. Salvation, which is a free gift given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and 2. Sanctification, which is the process of growing more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ in how we live our daily lives. Scripture speaks about both of these: "God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the things he planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT) Through the cross of Christ we receive salvation, the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life in glory. But, also through this gift of salvation we are free to partner with God in a life that honors God as we live according to God's will. This Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide is concerned with the process we are all invited into, by God, to become more and more like Christ in all that we say and do. Scripture invites us all to grow in our journey of faith . . . "until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ." (Ephesians 5:13) This journey of becoming more and more like Christ is a lifelong process, but a process that must be intentional and purposeful or it won't happen. Thus, the Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide is a process that will help you in your growth as a Christian. The process has four basic steps: Step One: The first step in the process of becoming intentional in maturing and growing into the full stature of Christ is to become familiar with the biblical behaviors of a mature Christian. In the section entitled "What Does A Mature Follower of Jesus Look Like?" you will have the opportunity to review the ten core values that help define the life and behaviors of a mature Christian. Reading, studying and praying over this section will ensure that you hear God's calling to live a wonderful and fulfilling life that honors God. It will also help you when you get to Step Two. Step Two: After reviewing the ten core values of a Christian you come to Step Two which is an assessment tool - a series of questions - which will help you evaluate yourself in each of these basic values/behaviors. This assessment section will help you discover your present strengths and areas for growth in your daily walk with God and with others. Only you will 3

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

see your assessment, unless you choose to share it with others. This is not a "test" to see how good a Christian you are. Through the waters of baptism and the cross of Christ, you are already a child of God and precious in God's embrace. This is simply a way to intentionally look at where you are in your journey of faith and where God wants you to go. No pressure ­ really! This walk with God is a walk that always includes and is founded upon grace. Step Three: The goal of the assessment section is two-fold: First it is to identify and celebrate your areas of strength in your journey of faith and in your maturing into the full stature of Christ; second it is to identify one area in which you discern that God is calling you to intentionally and purposefully grow. It is good to celebrate where you are and to also know that God always wants you to grow more faithful in word and deed no matter where you are on the journey to maturity. Step Four: Finally, once you have discerned what area of your journey of faith God is calling you to concentrate on, you will be invited to put together a plan of intentional spiritual development. You will be invited to use various resources and people in your life to help you grow in one area of your faith life. This gets you beyond the passion and desire to change and into the actual growth through intentional actions, which may include reading a book, going on a retreat, starting or changing a prayer discipline or many other concrete ways to enter into the depth and breadth of who God created you to be.

Getting Started

Actually, you started when you first became a follower. You have always been on a journey of faith and you have had times of growth, both intentional on your part and not intentional on your part (God sometimes does that!). This process of assessment and growth is really nothing new, just a good way to assess and grow who God created you to be. So with the Holy Spirit coursing through your soul and with a prayer of submission to God on your lips, enter into this continual process with joy and anticipation that God will guide you along the way!

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

The Call of the Christian Walk (Christian Core Values for Living) What Does A Mature Follower of Jesus Look Like?

When you join many organizations the first thing that happens is that you learn what it means to be a member. You learn what the mission is, what they believe and the core values and expected behaviors of the members. You may even get a manual that spells it all out for you. When God embraces you and you are made a member of the body of Christ you learn what the mission is (to go into the world and tell others about Jesus Christ), you learn what the bedrock beliefs are (Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins and give us eternal life) and what the core values and expected behaviors are of Christians (to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself). You even get a manual that spells it all out: The Bible! This section will articulate 10 biblical core values of the Christian life. These values lead to specific ways of living. They have to do with what you say and do, how you use our God-given resources, how you are in relationship with God, family, friends, strangers, and even enemies. Simply put, they have to do with how you live according to God's will every day. Reviewing these core values will help you in the assessment, discernment, and planning sections which follow. Take time to read, study and pray about these core values so that you are well prepared for what follows. By taking your time, even this section will grow your journey of faith. A mature follower of Jesus will embody these core values in who they are and how they live. These core values are not in any specific order; each one is as important as the other.

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Core Value #1. Grow Continually in Faith & Service Whether you are a new Christian or you have been a faithful follower of Jesus all your life, you are never done growing in your faith and in your service to our Lord. All Christians are called to a journey of continual growth in belief, trust and actions. Since you are reading this you are doing what this core value invites you to! Good job! Scripture tells us that there is a relationship between faith and service, and scripture invites us to never stop intentionally growing both. Growing in your service to the Lord in your family, at church, in your vocation and in your community is a mark of a faithful follower. Christian behavior includes continuously deepening your life of service.

Scriptural Foundations: James 2:14-17 Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can't save anyone. Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food and clothing, and you say, "Well, goodbye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well" ­ but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, it isn't good enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all ­ it is dead and useless. (NLT) John 13:12-15 After washing their (the disciple's) feet, he (Jesus) put on his robe again and sat down and asked, "Do you understand what I was doing? You call me `teacher' and `Lord,' and you are right, because it is true. And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you." (NLT) John 13:34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. (NLT) Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so that we can do the things he planned for us long ago. (NLT) Matthew 25:40, 45 And the King will say to them, "I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me." And he will answer them, "I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me." (NLT) 1 Peter 4:10 God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you. (NLT) 6

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 2. Pray Without Ceasing Prayer, whether it is private or public, thankfulness, petition or confession is not something that only clergy get to do. Prayer is open and honest communication to God in thought, word, and deed. Prayer is speaking and listening to God. Prayer, if it is a true and open communication will bring comfort, guidance and conviction. Prayer will shape you and mold you into who God calls you to become. All Christians are called to pray at all times about all things.

Scriptural Foundations: Philippians 4:6-7a Don't worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. (NLT) James 5:13-16a Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who had committed sins will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (NLT) Matthew 6:9-13 And pray like this: Our Father in Heaven, may your name be honored. May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don't let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (NLT) Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (NLT) Luke 6:12 One day. . . Jesus went to a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. (NLT) Psalm 116: 1-2 I love the Lord because he hears and answers my prayers. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath! (NLT)

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 3. Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls Giving praise, honor and glory to God in all you say and do is worship. Christians worship in many and various ways. You worship as a corporate body of Christ each week, but you also worship in your daily life of individual work and play. Acknowledging that God is God and we are not and that God is the Creator of all, that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the World, and the Holy Spirit is the power of God living in you to guide and protect you, is a behavior that all Christians are to embody. Worship is not just a one-hour-per-week event; it is a way of life.

Scriptural Foundations: Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (NLT) Psalm 100:1-2 Shout with joy to the Lord O earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. (NLT) Hebrews 12:28 Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be destroyed, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. (NLT) Revelation 7:11-15a And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell face down before the throne and worshiped God. They said, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and forever. Amen!" Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, "Who are these who are clothed in white? Where do they come from?" And I said to them, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. That is why they are standing in front of the throne of God, serving him day and night in his temple." (NLT) Psalm 150 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his heavenly dwelling; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the trumpet; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that lives sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord! (NLT)

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 4. Tithe Generosity is a mark of a Christian. Generosity in giving and sharing all of the many and various riches and blessings that God has showered upon you is a core value that must be lived out in real, practical behaviors. Christians are generous with their time, compassion, servanthood, material blessings and financial wealth. Scripture clearly states that all of who you are and all of what you have is to be used for the mission that God gives to you. We are to share the Good News and to help those in need. You are to live not for yourselves but for others. Financially, scripture says that giving starts with a tithe (10%) and grows beyond as God's will invites you to go deeper. (The partner assessment for this core value will assess "generosity" not "tithing," which is private.)

Scriptural Foundations: Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. (NLT) 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 Now I want to tell you dear friends, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia. Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the gracious privilege of sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem. Best of all, they went beyond our highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them. (NLT) Leviticus 27:30 A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy. (NLT) 2 Corinthians 8:7 Since you excel in so many ways ­ you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us ­ now I want you to excel also in this gracious ministry of giving. (NLT) 2 Corinthians 9:10-13 For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God. So two good things will happen ­ the needs of the Christians in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanksgiving to God. You will be glorifying God through your generous gifts. For your generosity to them will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. (NLT) 9

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 5. Welcome Everyone Warmly Christianity is not an exclusive club for a certain set of "righteous" people. The love and grace of God in Jesus Christ is for all people. We are all sinners and Jesus died for us all. God loves you even while you sin and loves you so much that, through the cross of Christ you are embraced by grace and adopted in God's family. God created all humanity with diverse cultural and ethnic expressions. All of those expressions are celebrated by God and should be celebrated in the family of God. Christians are called to welcome everyone warmly into their homes, neighborhood, and churches regardless of their skin color, their ethnicity or their sinful nature just like us all.

Scriptural Foundations: Galatians 3:28a There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. (NLT) Romans 15:5-7 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other ­ each with the attitude of Christ Jesus toward the other. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified. (NLT) 1 Peter 2:17a Show respect for everyone. (NLT) 1 Peter 4:8-9 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. (NLT) Matthew 18:5 And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. (NLT) Hebrews 13:1-2 Continue to love each other with true Christians love. Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! (NLT) Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter said, "I see very clearly that God doesn't show partiality. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right." (NLT)

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 6. Study God's Word The Bible is the most-sold book in the world, but many of them simply go unread. The Word of God is the foundation upon which you know God and God's gift of grace in Jesus Christ. It is through scripture that you come to know and believe that God created the world, that God sent Jesus to die for all to win victory over sin and death, and that God has granted you the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells within you. All followers should read their Bible daily and be involved in some bible study to advance their knowledge, faith and discipleship.

Scriptural Foundations: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out, and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. (NLT) Luke 1:1-4 Most honorable Theophilus: Many people have written accounts about the events that took place among us. They used as their source material the reports circulating among us from the early disciples and other eyewitnesses of what God has done in fulfillment of his promises. Having carefully investigated all of these accounts from the very beginning, I have decided to write a careful summary for you, to reassure you of the truth of all you were taught. (NLT) John 20:30-31 Jesus' disciples saw him do many other miraculous signs besides the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life. (NLT) Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (NLT) Matthew 4:3-4 Then the Devil came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, change, these stones into bread." But Jesus told him, "No, the scriptures say, `People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.'" (NLT) Psalm 119:98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for your commands are my constant guide. (NLT) Psalm 119:103-104 How sweet are your words to my taste; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. (NLT)

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 7. Witness Boldly Sharing the life-changing love and grace of Jesus Christ in word and deed is not just for clergy! All followers of Jesus are called to be living witnesses to the grace of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All Christians are called to be evangelists, though not all have the spiritual gift of evangelism. Non-believers look to those who claim to be Christians to evaluate Jesus and the promises of grace. All Christians send a message to others by the way they witness. You are to be living witnesses to your family, to the workplace and to the community. You may not be called to literally knock on doors, but you are called to tell others about God's awesome love and grace in Jesus.

Scriptural Foundations: Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands that I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (NLT) Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world ­ like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let your good deeds shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (NLT) Acts 1:8 But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere ­ in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (NLT) 1 Peter 3:15b-16a And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do so in a gentle and respectful way. (NLT) Romans 10:14-15 But how can they count on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the scriptures mean when they say, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (NLT) Psalm 71:15 I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, for I am overwhelmed by how much you have done for me. (NLT)

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 8. Submit to God's Will God is God and you are not. Jesus is your Lord and Master, you are not your own lord. Knowing the power and the greatness of God and submitting to God's power and God's will is a life-long task of a Christian. Submission is not something we do easily or without fear. Giving up control of your life, your family, your church, your money and your very day-to-day life seems counter to what the world teaches. Submission is a choice, an act of the human will to live under the rule and guidance of God. It is through submission that God can have God's way in and through you. It is through submission that you glorify God.

Scriptural Foundations: Luke 23:46a Then Jesus shouted, "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands." (NLT) Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. (NLT) Psalm 118:8-9 It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people. It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in princes. (NLT) James 4:7-8a So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. (NLT) Romans 6:16-17 Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you. (NLT) Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. (NLT) Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me." (NLT) Psalm 32:8 The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." (NLT)

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 9. Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us Forgiveness is who God is. Forgiveness is embodied in God's very being and certainly in God's relationship with God's people. Jesus became human, even to death on a cross that you might be given the forgiveness of your sins. All are sinners, but in and through the death and resurrection of Jesus all are forgiven sinners! You are not only to receive this gift of grace, but you are to share it with others. Christians are truly called to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Jesus.

Scriptural Foundations: Luke 23:24 Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing." (NLT) 1 John 1:8-9 If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." (NLT) Matthew 6:12, 14 . . . and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. . . If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins. (NLT) Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to him and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?" "No!" Jesus replied, "Seventy times seven!" (NLT) Colossians 3:13 You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (NLT) Mark 11:25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too." (NLT) Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (NLT)

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 10. Live With Integrity To live with integrity is to have no division between what you believe and what you say and do. For a Christian, integrity means having no division between your Bible, your beliefs and your behavior! When Christians fail to be people of integrity they misrepresent Jesus. Scripture reminds you that you are an ambassador for Christ. People will look to you to evaluate Jesus. Being a representative of Jesus is an awesome responsibility, and it takes integrity to live that calling out faithfully.

Scriptural Foundations: 1 Peter 2:12 Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world. (NLT) Titus 2:7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. (NLT) 1 Chronicles 29:17a I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. (NLT) Luke 6:31 Do for others as you would like them to do for you. (NLT) Luke 16:10 Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in larger ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. (NLT) 2 Corinthians 4:2 We reject all shameful and underhanded methods. We do not try to trick anyone, and we do not distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know that. (NLT) Micah 6:8 . . . the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (NLT) Philippians 4:8b And now, dear friends, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about these things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (NLT)

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A Christian Journey Assessment Process How Am I Shaping Up In My Journey of Faith?

The love and grace of Jesus Christ is life changing. God loves us so much that we have been given the gift of eternal life-change (salvation) through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Life-change is not just for when we pass from this world on into glory, but also for our lives right now. The forgiveness of our sins and the gift of eternal life free us for a life of love and grace right now! Scripture proclaims that God loves us so much that God also sends the Holy Spirit into our lives to guide and direct us to live according to the ways of God's own love and grace (God's will).

Self-Assessment

How Do I Think I Am Doing? Taking time to assess your own growth and change in your daily faith walk with God is an important, ongoing task of all followers of Jesus. Prayerfully consider your faith walk today as you take the following self-assessment. Remember, this is not a test, and it will be seen only by you, for your own spiritual growth. Remember that you are doing this assessment for your own personal growth. God loves you and accepts you right now, but God desires so much more for you. God has created you and has a plan for your life. As a Christian, God wants you to be the best representative of Jesus that you can be. As a unique child of God, you are gifted in specific ways for life as a follower of Jesus. There are 10 questions for each of the 10 core values. That makes for an even 100 questions! Don't panic, it will probably take only 15 to 30 minutes for this section. It will be time well spent! Prayerfully assess yourself according to the following 10-point scale, writing in the slot to the right your self-assessment. Add up your assessment for each core value.

I'm A Couch Potato 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

I'm In Olympic Shape! 8 9 10

Upon completion of your self-assessment, turn to page 41 to place your assessment on the chart. You will want to see it all together and you will want to compare it to the partner assessments in the next section.

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Core Value 1: Grow Continuously in Faith and Service

1. I am involved in serving the poor, other than giving money. 2. I give my time to others when they need me, even when it is inconvienient. 3. I am invloved in an ongoing ministry of service through my church. 4. I serve, expecting nothing in return. 5. I am involved in serving others outside of my church (in the community). 6. I believe that my daily vocation is done in service to my Lord. 7. I serve in ways that I am already gifted in. 8. I have been willing to be trained to serve in new ways as the need has arisen and as the Lord as called me to serve. 9. Some of my service is "secret service," in that I do not seek to be recognized, but simply to serve behind the scenes. 10. I am serving those who have physical, spiritual, or emotional needs (the sick, the lonely, the hombound or the hospitalized). TOTAL _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____

_____

_____ __________

Core Value 2: Pray without Ceasing

1. I pray regulary for myself and my family. 2. I have a set time and place that I use for a daily time of prayer. 3. I pray for others regularly. 4. I not only speak when I pray, but I also listen. 5. When I am struggling with prayer, I seek new ways to pray. 6. My prayer includes seeking God's mercy through the confession of my sins. 7. I give thanks to God in my prayers, even when I am suffering. 8. I pray with others regularly (in a small group, Bible study or with family). 9. I say grace at mealtimes. 10. I feel confident that my prayers are acceptable to the Lord. TOTAL _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ __________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 3: Worship Daily with all our Hearts, Minds and Souls

1. I worship with other believers each weekend. 2. I give thanks to God for blessing me daily. 3. I am not afraid to tell others that I worship God regularly. _____ _____ _____

4. I prepare for worship through prayer, meditation, scripture reading or silence. _____ 5. On a day when the weekend worship music or sermon or drama doesn't connect with me personally, I can still worship and praise God anyway. 6. My primary purpose of daily and weekend worship is to praise God. 7. I find ways to regularly thank and praise God in my home. 8. I intentionally open myself up in worship for God to change me. 9. I seek to allow the message of the sermon to impact me during the week. 10. I believe that worship is not about styles of how we worship. I believe that worship is fundamentally about my relationship with God. TOTAL

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____ __________

Core Value 4: Tithe

1. I believe that generosity should be a fundamental behavior of Christians. 2. I believe that all that I am and all that I have belong to God. 3. How I use my finances is a reflection of my trust in God to provide for me. 4. I prayerfully consider what my growth in my financial pledge will be to my church. 5. I am growing in my financial giving to church and other charities each year. 6. I give proportionally (by percentage). 7. I fulfill my pledge commitment to my church. 8. I understand that financial stewardship is also about spending the rest of my material wealth according to God's will for me, my family and the world. 9. I give "off the top," not "what's left over." 10. I am growing beyond a tithe. TOTAL _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____

__________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 5: Welcome Everyone Warmly

1. I believe that all people are created in God's image and likeness. _____

2. I feel comfortable around people of different social status, color and/or ethnicity._____ 3. I greet strangers at church and seek to make them feel welcome. _____

4. At church functions I look for people who don't know others and sit with them. _____ 5. I show interest in others by seeking to know who people are and what they do and what is happening in their lives. 6. I know that Jesus accepts people right where they are and I am to do just like Jesus does.

_____

_____

7. I invite others to join my small group and/or ministries in which I am involved. _____ 8. I am a good listener. 9. I know my neighbors well. 10. I seek to grow my circle of friends as God puts people in my path. _____ _____ _____

TOTAL __________

Core Value 6: Study God's Word

1. I read my Bible daily. 2. I am in a small group Bible study 3. I use study resources such as books, commentaries or the Internet to study. _____ _____ _____

4. I am confident that I know the major people, events and message of scripture. _____ 5. I can find my way around the Bible to look up passages or topics. _____

6. I know enough of the message of the Bible to explain the basics of whoGod is, what God has done for us in Jesus Christ and how salvation is a free gift. _____ 7. I seek to not only know the Bible but to apply it to my daily life. 8. I memorize scripture passages that are important to me and my faith. 9. If there is something in scripture that I don't understand, I seek help. 10. I know more about the Bible than I did a year ago, and I am confident that I will continue to grow this next year. TOTAL _____ _____ _____

_____ __________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 7: Witness Boldly

1. I pray for non-believers to know Christ. 2. I invite people to attend worship at church. 3. I share my experience of God's grace and love with others. 4. I invite others to join my small group/Bible study/weekend retreat. 5. I try to live my life as a living example of a Christian for others to see. 6. I share my belief in Jesus when discussing important moral/ethical matters. _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

7. When people are in need, including the unchurched, I offer to pray with them. _____ 8. I know and can articulate for others the free gift of salvation and forgiveness that we are given by God through Jesus Christ. 9. When someone asks me a question about the Bible or my faith that I am not prepared to answer, I answer truthfully and then research and get back to them in a timely manner. 10. All of my friends know how important my faith is to me. TOTAL

_____

_____ _____

__________

Core Value 8: Submit to God's Will

1. I regularly confess my sinfulness to God. 2. I seek to use my life to honor God. 3. When discerning God's will, I follow faithfully even when it includes sacrifice. 4. I read scripture daily to seek God's will for my life. 5. My present vocational choice is a result of following God's will. 6. I use my finances in a Biblical, Godly way. 7. I seek to live my life by regularly asking, "What Would Jesus Do?" 8. I am more like Jesus today than I was a year ago. 9. My willingness to submit to God in all areas of my life is increasing. 10. I take unpopular stands when my faith demands it. TOTAL _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ __________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 9: Forgive as Jesus Forgives Us

1. I know and trust that all of my sins are forgiven through the cross of Christ. 2. I know that Jesus forgives me, not because I deserve it, but because he loves me. 3. I know that Jesus forgives the sin that I hide from others. 4. I confess my sins regularly to God. 5. I generally can forgive others without seeking revenge or retribution. _____

_____ _____ _____ _____

6. When I forgive others I may not forget but I am at peace with myself and them. _____ 7. I do not hold grudges. 8. I am able to forgive others even when they do not accept it. 9. I do not expect others to be perfect anymore than I am perfect myself. 10. When others sin against me, I remember the forgiveness that I have received from Jesus in order to help me be like Jesus in forgiving them. _____ _____ _____

_____

TOTAL __________

Core Value 10: Live with Integrity

1. My belief in God is grounded is scripture, not popular culture. 2. My behavior is congruous with my beliefs. 3. There is no disunity between my Bible, my Beliefs, and my Behavior. 4. My words and my actions are always unified. 5. I am the same person no matter who I am with. 6. When I am wrong or have hurt someone, I admit it and attempt to make things right. 7. I do not cheat or fudge on the "little things" in life. 8. I follow through on my commitments to God and others. 9. I behave the same at home, at work, in the community and at church. 10. I am open with others about my strengths and my weaknesses. TOTAL _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ __________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Partner Assessments What Do Other Christians See In Me?

Self-assessments are important in the process of faith development. Often, in assessing oneself we are too hard on ourselves. Sometimes we cannot see ourselves as others see us. We may have strengths or growth areas that we do not recognize. Since scripture says that Christians represent Christ to others, it is vital that we understand how others see Christ in us. Please choose a minimum of two and a maximum of four people in your life that you trust can be honest with you. Ask them to assess your Faith Walk in Christ through partnering with you in this process. Ask them to be honest in their assessment of these 10 core values so that you can understand your strengths and your growth areas. Choose a variety of partners. You may want to include family members, friends, co-workers, members of your small group, your prayer partner, etc. . . A good diverse group will offer you a broad assessment. This is the hardest part of the Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide. We rarely do enough of this kind of partnership with others, - so we do not have much experience or practice in receiving input from people we love and respect. As you enter this step of the assessment, remember that you will be asking people who love you and who are "on your side." They want to, and will affirm you and partner with you in your walk with Christ. Tear out the four "Partner Assessment" sheets, pages 25 ­ 40 (the pages are perforated), and distribute them to your four partners. Do not look at them until after you have completed your self-assessment. After they have completed them take each assessment for each core value, turn to page 23 and add them up and divide by 2,3 or 4 (the number of partners). Record these assessments, along with your self assessment tabulations on the chart on page 41.

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Partner Assessment Totals:

Core Value 1. Grow Continuously in Faith and Service _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 2. Pray Without Ceasing _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 3. Worship Daily with all our Hearts, Minds and Souls _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 4. Tithe _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 5. Welcome Everyone Warmly _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 6. Study God's Word _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 7. Witness Boldly _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 8. Submit to God's Will _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 9. Forgive as Jesus Forgives Us _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____ Core Value 10. Live with Integrity _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = _____ Divided by 2, 3 or 4 = _____

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Partner Assessment #1

Thank you for agreeing to partner with another as you help them grow their Faith Walk with God. They are on a journey of faith and growth and your partnership assessment of their faith life will bless them in their discernment and growth process. Please carefully and prayerfully assess their faith and life according to the following 10 core values of the Christian life. Read through the descriptions of each core value prior to your assessment. Your honesty will be important in the process of growth. If there is a particular core value that you are unable to faithfully assess please feel free to leave that one blank. Please assess them according to the following scale: They Are A Couch Potato 10 20 30 40 50 60 They Are In Olympic Shape! 70 80 90 100 1

After this rating scale, please add additional comments of affirmation and support as you can. Upon completion, please return this partner assessment sheet to them. Thank you for sharing your time and insight.

Core Value 1: Grow Continually in Faith & Service Whether you are a new Christian or you have been a faithful follower of Jesus all your life, you are never done growing in your faith and in your service to our Lord. All Christians are called to a journey of continual growth in belief, trust and actions. Scripture tells us that there is a relationship between faith and service, and scripture invites us to never stop intentionally growing both. Growing in your service to the Lord in your family, at church, in your vocation and in your community is a mark of a faithful follower. Christian behavior includes continuously deepening your life of service. How does the person you are assessing reflect a life of service to family, church, community and the world? Grow Continually in Faith & Service _____

Core Value 2: Pray Without Ceasing Prayer, whether it is private or public, thankfulness, petition or confession is not something that only clergy get to do. Prayer is open and honest communication to God in thought, word and deed. Prayer is speaking and listening to God. Prayer, if it is a true and open communication will bring comfort, guidance and conviction. Prayer will shape you and mold you into who God calls you to become. All Christians are called to pray at all times about all things. How does the person you are assessing embody a life of prayer? Pray Without Ceasing _____

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 3: Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls 1 Giving praise, honor and glory to God in all you say and do is worship. Christians worship in many and various ways. You worship as a corporate body of Christ each week, but you also worship in your daily life of individual work and play. Acknowledging that God is God and we are not and that God is the Creator of all, that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the World, and the Holy Spirit is the power of God living in you to guide and protect you, is a behavior that all Christians are to embody. Worship is not just a one-hour-per-week event; it is a way of life. How does the person you are assessing incorporate worship and praise in their lives both in weekend worship and daily living? Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls _____

Partner Assessment

Core Value 4: Tithe (Generosity) Generosity is a mark of a Christian. Generosity in giving and sharing all of the many and various riches and blessings that God has showered upon you is a core value that must be lived out in real, practical behaviors. Christians are generous with their time, compassion, servanthood, material blessings and financial wealth. Scripture clearly states that all of who you are and all of what you have is to be used for the mission that God gives to you. We are to share the Good News and to help those in need. You are to live not for yourselves but for others. Financially, scripture says that giving starts with a tithe (10%) and grows beyond as God's will invites you to go deeper. How does the person you are assessing live out a life of generosity? You cannot assess another person's financial giving, but generosity is so much more than that. Tithe (Generosity) _____

Core Value 5: Welcome Everyone Warmly Christianity is not an exclusive club for a certain set of "righteous" people. The love and grace of God in Jesus Christ is for all people. We are all sinners and Jesus died for us all. God loves you even while you sin and loves you so much that through the cross of Christ you are embraced by grace and adopted in God's family. God created all humanity with diverse cultural and ethnic expressions. All of those expressions are celebrated by God and should be celebrated in the family of God. Christians are called to welcome everyone warmly into their homes, neighborhood and churches regardless of their skin color, their ethnicity or their sinful nature, just like us all. How does the person you are assessing treat others and speak of others who are different than they are? Does this person openly seek out and welcome others? Welcome Everyone Warmly _____

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 6: Study God's Word The Bible is the most-sold book in the world, but many of them simply go unread. The Word of God is the foundation upon which you know God and God's gift of grace in Jesus Christ. It is through scripture that you come to know and believe that God created the world, that God sent Jesus to die for all to win victory over sin and death, and that God has granted you the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells with you. All followers should read their Bible daily and be involved in some Bible study to advance their knowledge, faith and discipleship. For the person you are assessing, how deep is their use of and knowledge of the scriptures? Do they share that knowledge with others? Study God's Word _____ 1

Core Value 7: Witness Boldly Sharing the life-changing love and grace of Jesus Christ in word and deed is not just for clergy! All followers of Jesus are called to be living witnesses to the grace of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All Christians are called to be evangelists, though not all have the spiritual gift of evangelism. Non-believers look to those who claim to be Christians to evaluate Jesus and the promises of grace. All Christians send a message to others by the way they witness. You are to be living witnesses to your family, to the workplace and to the community. You may not be called to literally knock on doors, but you are called to tell others about God's awesome love and grace in Jesus. You are to witness to both nonbelievers and believers. How does the person you are assessing share their faith with others? Is their faith out in the open or is it just a private matter kept inside? Have they shared their faith with others and with you? Witness Boldly _____

Core Value 8: Submit to God's Will God is God and you are not. Jesus is your Lord and Master, you are not your own Lord. Knowing the power and the greatness of God and submitting to God's power and God's will is a lifelong task of a Christian. Submission is not something we do easily or without fear. Giving up control of your life, your family, your church, your money and your very day-to-day life seems counter to what the world teaches. Submission is a choice, an act of the human will to live under the rule and guidance of God. It is through submission that God can have God's way in and through you. It is through submission that you glorify God. Based on your relationship with the person you are assessing, how well does this person live a life of submission to God? Do they seek God and God's will for their life or do they follow their own will first? Submit to God's Will _____

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Partner Assessment

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 9: Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us 1 Forgiveness is who God is. Forgiveness is embodied in God's very being and certainly in God's relationship with God's people. Jesus became human, even to death on a cross that you might be given the forgiveness of your sins. All are sinners, but in and through the death and resurrection of Jesus all are forgiven sinners! You are not only to receive this gift of grace, but you are to share it with others. Christians are truly called to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Jesus. How does the person you are assessing live out this core value to forgive others? Are they generous in forgiveness and grace or do they hold anger inside and carry grudges a long time? Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us _____

Partner Assessment

Core Value 10: Live With Integrity To live with integrity is to have no division between what you believe and what you say and do. For a Christian, integrity means having no division between your Bible, your beliefs, and your behavior! When Christians fail to be people of integrity they misrepresent Jesus. Scripture reminds you that you are an ambassador for Christ. People will look to you to evaluate Jesus. Being a representative of Jesus is an awesome responsibility, and it takes integrity to live out that calling out faithfully. Is the person you are assessing a person of integrity? Are they the same person at home, at church and out in the world? Do their words and deeds match? Live With Integrity _____

Please write any additional comments of affirmation regarding the person's life of faith that you see in them:

If you could make a suggestion of one core value (area of faith) the person would be most blessed to spend time in growing, what would it be?

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Partner Assessment #2

Thank you for agreeing to partner with another as you help them grow their Faith Walk with God. They are on a journey of faith and growth and your partnership assessment of their faith life will bless them in their discernment and growth process. Please carefully and prayerfully assess their faith and life according to the following 10 core values of the Christian life. Read through the descriptions of each core value prior to your assessment. Your honesty will be important in the process of growth. If there is a particular core value that you are unable to faithfully assess please feel free to leave that one blank. Please assess them according to the following scale: They Are A Couch Potato 10 20 30 40 50 60 They Are In Olympic Shape! 70 80 90 100 2

After this rating scale, please add additional comments of affirmation and support as you can. Upon completion, please return this partner assessment sheet to them. Thank you for sharing your time and insight.

Core Value 1: Grow Continually in Faith & Service Whether you are a new Christian or you have been a faithful follower of Jesus all your life, you are never done growing in your faith and in your service to our Lord. All Christians are called to a journey of continual growth in belief, trust and actions. Scripture tells us that there is a relationship between faith and service, and scripture invites us to never stop intentionally growing both. Growing in your service to the Lord in your family, at church, in your vocation and in your community is a mark of a faithful follower. Christian behavior includes continuously deepening your life of service. How does the person you are assessing reflect a life of service to family, church, community and the world? Grow Continually in Faith & Service _____

Core Value 2: Pray Without Ceasing Prayer, whether it is private or public, thankfulness, petition or confession is not something that only clergy get to do. Prayer is open and honest communication to God in thought, word and deed. Prayer is speaking and listening to God. Prayer, if it is a true and open communication will bring comfort, guidance and conviction. Prayer will shape you and mold you into who God calls you to become. All Christians are called to pray at all times about all things. How does the person you are assessing embody a life of prayer? Pray Without Ceasing _____

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 3: Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls 2 Giving praise, honor and glory to God in all you say and do is worship. Christians worship in many and various ways. You worship as a corporate body of Christ each week, but you also worship in your daily life of individual work and play. Acknowledging that God is God and we are not and that God is the Creator of all, that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the World, and the Holy Spirit is the power of God living in you to guide and protect you, is a behavior that all Christians are to embody. Worship is not just a one-hour-per-week event; it is a way of life. How does the person you are assessing incorporate worship and praise in their lives both in weekend worship and daily living? Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls _____

Partner Assessment

Core Value 4: Tithe (Generosity) Generosity is a mark of a Christian. Generosity in giving and sharing all of the many and various riches and blessings that God has showered upon you is a core value that must be lived out in real, practical behaviors. Christians are generous with their time, compassion, servanthood, material blessings and financial wealth. Scripture clearly states that all of who you are and all of what you have is to be used for the mission that God gives to you. We are to share the Good News and to help those in need. You are to live not for yourselves but for others. Financially, scripture says that giving starts with a tithe (10%) and grows beyond as God's will invites you to go deeper. How does the person you are assessing live out a life of generosity? You cannot assess another person's financial giving, but generosity is so much more than that. Tithe (Generosity) _____

Core Value 5: Welcome Everyone Warmly Christianity is not an exclusive club for a certain set of "righteous" people. The love and grace of God in Jesus Christ is for all people. We are all sinners and Jesus died for us all. God loves you even while you sin and loves you so much that through the cross of Christ you are embraced by grace and adopted in God's family. God created all humanity with diverse cultural and ethnic expressions. All of those expressions are celebrated by God and should be celebrated in the family of God. Christians are called to welcome everyone warmly into their homes, neighborhood and churches regardless of their skin color, their ethnicity or their sinful nature, just like us all. How does the person you are assessing treat others and speak of others who are different than they are? Does this person openly seek out and welcome others? Welcome Everyone Warmly _____

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 6: Study God's Word The Bible is the most-sold book in the world, but many of them simply go unread. The Word of God is the foundation upon which you know God and God's gift of grace in Jesus Christ. It is through scripture that you come to know and believe that God created the world, that God sent Jesus to die for all to win victory over sin and death, and that God has granted you the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells with you. All followers should read their Bible daily and be involved in some Bible study to advance their knowledge, faith and discipleship. For the person you are assessing, how deep is their use of and knowledge of the scriptures? Do they share that knowledge with others? Study God's Word _____ 2

Core Value 7: Witness Boldly Sharing the life-changing love and grace of Jesus Christ in word and deed is not just for clergy! All followers of Jesus are called to be living witnesses to the grace of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All Christians are called to be evangelists, though not all have the spiritual gift of evangelism. Non-believers look to those who claim to be Christians to evaluate Jesus and the promises of grace. All Christians send a message to others by the way they witness. You are to be living witnesses to your family, to the workplace and to the community. You may not be called to literally knock on doors, but you are called to tell others about God's awesome love and grace in Jesus. You are to witness to both nonbelievers and believers. How does the person you are assessing share their faith with others? Is their faith out in the open or is it just a private matter kept inside? Have they shared their faith with others and with you? Witness Boldly _____

Core Value 8: Submit to God's Will God is God and you are not. Jesus is your Lord and Master, you are not your own lord. Knowing the power and the greatness of God and submitting to God's power and God's will is a lifelong task of a Christian. Submission is not something we do easily or without fear. Giving up control of your life, your family, your church, your money and your very day-to-day life seems counter to what the world teaches. Submission is a choice, an act of the human will to live under the rule and guidance of God. It is through submission that God can have God's way in and through you. It is through submission that you glorify God. Based on your relationship with the person you are assessing, how well does this person live a life of submission to God? Do they seek God and God's will for their life or do they follow their own will first? Submit to God's Will _____

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Core Value 9: Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us 2 Forgiveness is who God is. Forgiveness is embodied in God's very being and certainly in God's relationship with God's people. Jesus became human, even to death on a cross that you might be given the forgiveness of your sins. All are sinners, but in and through the death and resurrection of Jesus all are forgiven sinners! You are not only to receive this gift of grace, but you are to share it with others. Christians are truly called to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Jesus. How does the person you are assessing live out this core value to forgive others? Are they generous in forgiveness and grace or do they hold anger inside and carry grudges a long time? Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us _____

Partner Assessment

Core Value 10: Live With Integrity To live with integrity is to have no division between what you believe and what you say and do. For a Christian, integrity means having no division between your Bible, your beliefs, and your behavior! When Christians fail to be people of integrity they misrepresent Jesus. Scripture reminds you that you are an ambassador for Christ. People will look to you to evaluate Jesus. Being a representative of Jesus is an awesome responsibility, and it takes integrity to live out that calling out faithfully. Is the person you are assessing a person of integrity? Are they the same person at home, at church and out in the world? Do their words and deeds match? Live With Integrity _____

Please write any additional comments of affirmation regarding the person's life of faith that you see in them:

If you could make a suggestion of one core value (area of faith) the person would be most blessed to spend time in growing, what would it be?

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Partner Assessment #3

Thank you for agreeing to partner with another as you help them grow their Faith Walk with God. They are on a journey of faith and growth and your partnership assessment of their faith life will bless them in their discernment and growth process. Please carefully and prayerfully assess their faith and life according to the following 10 core values of the Christian life. Read through the descriptions of each core value prior to your assessment. Your honesty will be important in the process of growth. If there is a particular core value that you are unable to faithfully assess please feel free to leave that one blank. Please assess them according to the following scale: They Are A Couch Potato 10 20 30 40 50 60 They Are In Olympic Shape! 70 80 90 100 3

After this rating scale, please add additional comments of affirmation and support as you can. Upon completion, please return this partner assessment sheet to them. Thank you for sharing your time and insight.

Core Value 1: Grow Continually in Faith & Service Whether you are a new Christian or you have been a faithful follower of Jesus all your life, you are never done growing in your faith and in your service to our Lord. All Christians are called to a journey of continual growth in belief, trust and actions. Scripture tells us that there is a relationship between faith and service, and scripture invites us to never stop intentionally growing both. Growing in your service to the Lord in your family, at church, in your vocation and in your community is a mark of a faithful follower. Christian behavior includes continuously deepening your life of service. How does the person you are assessing reflect a life of service to family, church, community and the world? Grow Continually in Faith & Service _____

Core Value 2: Pray Without Ceasing Prayer, whether it is private or public, thankfulness, petition or confession is not something that only clergy get to do. Prayer is open and honest communication to God in thought, word and deed. Prayer is speaking and listening to God. Prayer, if it is a true and open communication will bring comfort, guidance and conviction. Prayer will shape you and mold you into who God calls you to become. All Christians are called to pray at all times about all things. How does the person you are assessing embody a life of prayer? Pray Without Ceasing _____

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Partner Assessment

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 3: Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls 3 Giving praise, honor and glory to God in all you say and do is worship. Christians worship in many and various ways. You worship as a corporate body of Christ each week, but you also worship in your daily life of individual work and play. Acknowledging that God is God and we are not and that God is the Creator of all, that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the World, and the Holy Spirit is the power of God living in you to guide and protect you, is a behavior that all Christians are to embody. Worship is not just a one-hour-per-week event; it is a way of life. How does the person you are assessing incorporate worship and praise in their lives both in weekend worship and daily living? Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls _____

Partner Assessment

Core Value 4: Tithe (Generosity) Generosity is a mark of a Christian. Generosity in giving and sharing all of the many and various riches and blessings that God has showered upon you is a core value that must be lived out in real, practical behaviors. Christians are generous with their time, compassion, servanthood, material blessings and financial wealth. Scripture clearly states that all of who you are and all of what you have is to be used for the mission that God gives to you. We are to share the Good News and to help those in need. You are to live not for yourselves but for others. Financially, scripture says that giving starts with a tithe (10%) and grows beyond as God's will invites you to go deeper. How does the person you are assessing live out a life of generosity? You cannot assess another person's financial giving, but generosity is so much more than that. Tithe (Generosity) _____

Core Value 5: Welcome Everyone Warmly Christianity is not an exclusive club for a certain set of "righteous" people. The love and grace of God in Jesus Christ is for all people. We are all sinners and Jesus died for us all. God loves you even while you sin and loves you so much that through the cross of Christ you are embraced by grace and adopted in God's family. God created all humanity with diverse cultural and ethnic expressions. All of those expressions are celebrated by God and should be celebrated in the family of God. Christians are called to welcome everyone warmly into their homes, neighborhood and churches regardless of their skin color, their ethnicity or their sinful nature, just like us all. How does the person you are assessing treat others and speak of others who are different than they are? Does this person openly seek out and welcome others? Welcome Everyone Warmly _____

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 6: Study God's Word The Bible is the most-sold book in the world, but many of them simply go unread. The Word of God is the foundation upon which you know God and God's gift of grace in Jesus Christ. It is through scripture that you come to know and believe that God created the world, that God sent Jesus to die for all to win victory over sin and death, and that God has granted you the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells with you. All followers should read their Bible daily and be involved in some Bible study to advance their knowledge, faith and discipleship. For the person you are assessing, how deep is their use of and knowledge of the scriptures? Do they share that knowledge with others? Study God's Word _____ 3

Core Value 7: Witness Boldly Sharing the life-changing love and grace of Jesus Christ in word and deed is not just for clergy! All followers of Jesus are called to be living witnesses to the grace of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All Christians are called to be evangelists, though not all have the spiritual gift of evangelism. Non-believers look to those who claim to be Christians to evaluate Jesus and the promises of grace. All Christians send a message to others by the way they witness. You are to be living witnesses to your family, to the workplace and to the community. You may not be called to literally knock on doors, but you are called to tell others about God's awesome love and grace in Jesus. You are to witness to both nonbelievers and believers. How does the person you are assessing share their faith with others? Is their faith out in the open or is it just a private matter kept inside? Have they shared their faith with others and with you? Witness Boldly _____

Core Value 8: Submit to God's Will God is God and you are not. Jesus is your Lord and Master, you are not your own lord. Knowing the power and the greatness of God and submitting to God's power and God's will is a lifelong task of a Christian. Submission is not something we do easily or without fear. Giving up control of your life, your family, your church, your money and your very day-to-day life seems counter to what the world teaches. Submission is a choice, an act of the human will to live under the rule and guidance of God. It is through submission that God can have God's way in and through you. It is through submission that you glorify God. Based on your relationship with the person you are assessing, how well does this person live a life of submission to God? Do they seek God and God's will for their life or do they follow their own will first? Submit to God's Will _____

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Partner Assessment

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 9: Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us 3 Forgiveness is who God is. Forgiveness is embodied in God's very being and certainly in God's relationship with God's people. Jesus became human, even to death on a cross that you might be given the forgiveness of your sins. All are sinners, but in and through the death and resurrection of Jesus all are forgiven sinners! You are not only to receive this gift of grace, but you are to share it with others. Christians are truly called to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Jesus. How does the person you are assessing live out this core value to forgive others? Are they generous in forgiveness and grace or do they hold anger inside and carry grudges a long time? Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us _____

Partner Assessment

Core Value 10: Live With Integrity To live with integrity is to have no division between what you believe and what you say and do. For a Christian, integrity means having no division between your Bible, your beliefs, and your behavior! When Christians fail to be people of integrity they misrepresent Jesus. Scripture reminds you that you are an ambassador for Christ. People will look to you to evaluate Jesus. Being a representative of Jesus is an awesome responsibility, and it takes integrity to live out that calling out faithfully. Is the person you are assessing a person of integrity? Are they the same person at home, at church and out in the world? Do their words and deeds match? Live With Integrity _____

Please write any additional comments of affirmation regarding the person's life of faith that you see in them:

If you could make a suggestion of one core value (area of faith) the person would be most blessed to spend time in growing, what would it be?

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Partner Assessment #4

Thank you for agreeing to partner with another as you help them grow their Faith Walk with God. They are on a journey of faith and growth and your partnership assessment of their faith life will bless them in their discernment and growth process. Please carefully and prayerfully assess their faith and life according to the following 10 core values of the Christian life. Read through the descriptions of each core value prior to your assessment. Your honesty will be important in the process of growth. If there is a particular core value that you are unable to faithfully assess please feel free to leave that one blank. Please assess them according to the following scale: They Are A Couch Potato 10 20 30 40 50 60 They Are In Olympic Shape! 70 80 90 100 4

After this rating scale, please add additional comments of affirmation and support as you can. Upon completion, please return this partner assessment sheet to them. Thank you for sharing your time and insight.

Core Value 1: Grow Continually in Faith & Service Whether you are a new Christian or you have been a faithful follower of Jesus all your life, you are never done growing in your faith and in your service to our Lord. All Christians are called to a journey of continual growth in belief, trust and actions. Scripture tells us that there is a relationship between faith and service, and scripture invites us to never stop intentionally growing both. Growing in your service to the Lord in your family, at church, in your vocation and in your community is a mark of a faithful follower. Christian behavior includes continuously deepening your life of service. How does the person you are assessing reflect a life of service to family, church, community and the world? Grow Continually in Faith & Service _____

Core Value 2: Pray Without Ceasing Prayer, whether it is private or public, thankfulness, petition or confession is not something that only clergy get to do. Prayer is open and honest communication to God in thought, word and deed. Prayer is speaking and listening to God. Prayer, if it is a true and open communication will bring comfort, guidance and conviction. Prayer will shape you and mold you into who God calls you to become. All Christians are called to pray at all times about all things. How does the person you are assessing embody a life of prayer? Pray Without Ceasing _____

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Partner Assessment

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 3: Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls 4 Giving praise, honor and glory to God in all you say and do is worship. Christians worship in many and various ways. You worship as a corporate body of Christ each week, but you also worship in your daily life of individual work and play. Acknowledging that God is God and we are not and that God is the Creator of all, that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the World, and the Holy Spirit is the power of God living in you to guide and protect you, is a behavior that all Christians are to embody. Worship is not just a one-hour-per-week event; it is a way of life. How does the person you are assessing incorporate worship and praise in their lives both in weekend worship and daily living? Worship Daily With All Our Hearts, Minds and Souls _____

Partner Assessment

Core Value 4: Tithe (Generosity) Generosity is a mark of a Christian. Generosity in giving and sharing all of the many and various riches and blessings that God has showered upon you is a core value that must be lived out in real, practical behaviors. Christians are generous with their time, compassion, servanthood, material blessings and financial wealth. Scripture clearly states that all of who you are and all of what you have is to be used for the mission that God gives to you. We are to share the Good News and to help those in need. You are to live not for yourselves but for others. Financially, scripture says that giving starts with a tithe (10%) and grows beyond as God's will invites you to go deeper. How does the person you are assessing live out a life of generosity? You cannot assess another person's financial giving, but generosity is so much more than that. Tithe (Generosity) _____

Core Value 5: Welcome Everyone Warmly Christianity is not an exclusive club for a certain set of "righteous" people. The love and grace of God in Jesus Christ is for all people. We are all sinners and Jesus died for us all. God loves you even while you sin and loves you so much that through the cross of Christ you are embraced by grace and adopted in God's family. God created all humanity with diverse cultural and ethnic expressions. All of those expressions are celebrated by God and should be celebrated in the family of God. Christians are called to welcome everyone warmly into their homes, neighborhood and churches regardless of their skin color, their ethnicity or their sinful nature, just like us all. How does the person you are assessing treat others and speak of others who are different than they are? Does this person openly seek out and welcome others? Welcome Everyone Warmly _____

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 6: Study God's Word The Bible is the most-sold book in the world, but many of them simply go unread. The Word of God is the foundation upon which you know God and God's gift of grace in Jesus Christ. It is through scripture that you come to know and believe that God created the world, that God sent Jesus to die for all to win victory over sin and death, and that God has granted you the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells with you. All followers should read their Bible daily and be involved in some Bible study to advance their knowledge, faith and discipleship. For the person you are assessing, how deep is their use of and knowledge of the scriptures? Do they share that knowledge with others? Study God's Word _____ 4

Core Value 7: Witness Boldly Sharing the life-changing love and grace of Jesus Christ in word and deed is not just for clergy! All followers of Jesus are called to be living witnesses to the grace of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All Christians are called to be evangelists, though not all have the spiritual gift of evangelism. Non-believers look to those who claim to be Christians to evaluate Jesus and the promises of grace. All Christians send a message to others by the way they witness. You are to be living witnesses to your family, to the workplace and to the community. You may not be called to literally knock on doors, but you are called to tell others about God's awesome love and grace in Jesus. You are to witness to both nonbelievers and believers. How does the person you are assessing share their faith with others? Is their faith out in the open or is it just a private matter kept inside? Have they shared their faith with others and with you? Witness Boldly _____

Core Value 8: Submit to God's Will God is God and you are not. Jesus is your Lord and Master, you are not your own lord. Knowing the power and the greatness of God and submitting to God's power and God's will is a lifelong task of a Christian. Submission is not something we do easily or without fear. Giving up control of your life, your family, your church, your money and your very day-to-day life seems counter to what the world teaches. Submission is a choice, an act of the human will to live under the rule and guidance of God. It is through submission that God can have God's way in and through you. It is through submission that you glorify God. Based on your relationship with the person you are assessing, how well does this person live a life of submission to God? Do they seek God and God's will for their life or do they follow their own will first? Submit to God's Will _____

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Partner Assessment

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Core Value 9: Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us 4 Forgiveness is who God is. Forgiveness is embodied in God's very being and certainly in God's relationship with God's people. Jesus became human, even to death on a cross that you might be given the forgiveness of your sins. All are sinners, but in and through the death and resurrection of Jesus all are forgiven sinners! You are not only to receive this gift of grace, but you are to share it with others. Christians are truly called to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Jesus. How does the person you are assessing live out this core value to forgive others? Are they generous in forgiveness and grace or do they hold anger inside and carry grudges a long time? Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us _____

Partner Assessment

Core Value 10: Live With Integrity To live with integrity is to have no division between what you believe and what you say and do. For a Christian, integrity means having no division between your Bible, your beliefs, and your behavior! When Christians fail to be people of integrity they misrepresent Jesus. Scripture reminds you that you are an ambassador for Christ. People will look to you to evaluate Jesus. Being a representative of Jesus is an awesome responsibility, and it takes integrity to live out that calling out faithfully. Is the person you are assessing a person of integrity? Are they the same person at home, at church and out in the world? Do their words and deeds match? Live With Integrity _____

Please write any additional comments of affirmation regarding the person's life of faith that you see in them:

If you could make a suggestion of one core value (area of faith) the person would be most blessed to spend time in growing, what would it be?

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Self-Assessment & Partner Assessment Totals:

Please graph each core value with the tabulations of your self-assessment and then your partner assessment averages. This will give you a visual picture of this assessment process.

CORE VALUE #1 Grow Continuously in Faith & Service Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #2 Pray Without Ceasing Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #3 Worship Daily Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #4 Tithe (Generosity) Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #5 Welcome Everyone Warmly Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #6 Study God's Word Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #7 Witness Boldly Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #8 Submit to God's Will Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #9 Forgive As Jesus Forgives Us Self-Assessment Partner Assessments #10 Live With Integrity Self-Assessment Partner Assessments

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Now you are ready for the celebration of your strengths and the discernment regarding which core value God is calling you to focus on and grow in.

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Christian Walk Celebration & Discernment What Does This Assessment Mean?

Congratulations! You have completed your self-assessment and the partner assessments to help get a good picture of your present journey of faith. The first thing you need to do is CELEBRATE! You will see that there are certain core values that you either naturally do well or you have been intentionally growing and your commitment and hard work has paid off! We must never forget to celebrate God's blessings in our lives. After celebrating you will take some time to intentionally discern possible areas for growth. The objective of both of these is to discover how God wants you to serve and how God invites you to continue to mature in your faith journey. You will be invited to look at and consider three of your strengths and three possible areas for growth. Remember that every follower of Jesus will have three core values that scored the highest and three core values that scored the lowest. This is not a test, just a picture of your present faith journey with identifications of what is going well and where you can grow! The actual scores don't mean as much as how the scores for each core value compare to each other. Take some time to celebrate and to discern.

Celebrating Your Strong Core Values: 1. Looking at your self-assessment, what are the three core values that you scored highest in? A. ________________________________________ B. ________________________________________ C. ________________________________________

2. Looking at your partner assessments, what are the three core values that you scored highest in? A. ________________________________________ B. ________________________________________ C. ________________________________________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

3. Any differences? Any surprises? Take a moment to write down your thoughts regarding these areas of strength that you and your partners have identified. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

4. List the ways you are using your strengths in your home, church and community, country, and the world. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

5. Are there additional (maybe new) ways you can serve the Lord by utilizing your present strengths? If so, list them. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

Discerning Possible Areas For Growth 1. Looking at your self-assessment, what are the three core values that you scored lowest in? A. ________________________________________ B. ________________________________________ C. ________________________________________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

2. Looking at your partner assessments, what are the three core values that you scored lowest in? A. ________________________________________ B. ________________________________________ C. ________________________________________

3. Any differences? Any surprises? Take a moment to write down your thoughts regarding these areas of growth that you and your partners have identified. ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

Discerning God's Call For Growth You have taken time to celebrate your strengths and to identify possible areas for growth. These are "possible" areas for growth in that even though God wants us to work on our "weaker" areas of faith, at any given time God may be calling you to grow in a core value that may be in the middle of your assessment tabulations, or even near the top. Thus, this section will invite you to discern what one area (or maybe two areas ­ but no more) God wants you to focus on and grow in at this time and place in your journey of faith. Please follow the exercises as they are presented below. They will help you in the discernment process.

1. When you think about growing your faith life, what three core values come to your mind first? A. ________________________________________________________ B. ________________________________________________________ C. ________________________________________________________

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2. Review each of the three core values you have chosen (they are located on pages 6-15). Spend time reading the scriptural foundations again. Then spend some time in prayer about each one. After you have devoted this time write down your thoughts for each area. A. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

B. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

C. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

3. If you feel ready, now comes the time to choose what one area (or two areas) you feel God is calling you to focus on and grow in! Write down the area(s) below. If you do not feel ready at this time, please take time to pray more or ­ even better ­ to talk to a friend, prayer partner, a family member or your pastor. They may be able to partner with you in the discernment process. Once you have done this then continue below.

Primary Growth Area: __________________________________________

Secondary Growth Area (Optional): _______________________________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

Christian Growth Development Plan Where Do I Go From Here?

Now that you have completed the assessment and discernment steps you are ready to develop a spiritual development plan targeting your area(s) for growth. This is a very important step. Too often we get to the point of identification, desire and initial commitment in our faith walk but we don't truly take the time to put together the plan, including resources available for the growth, to actually be executed. What does a spiritual growth development plan look like? It will include a plan to grow in knowledge as well as practice of the core value. The plan should include some sort of accountability structure that will help you stick to your plan. It will include finding and using resources which may include books, Internet Websites, small group participation, seminars/classes, and other people resources. There is an abundance of resources available for growth. The problem will not be finding them as much as sifting through what will work best for you. Follow the steps below which will help you walk through this planning process for your primary growth area. You can repeat this process with a secondary growth area if you have chosen one. Primary Growth Area: ____________________________________________ 1. Do you want to develop this plan alone or with another person who can partner with you? Sometimes partnering with another (a friend, prayer partner, a family member, someone from your small group, your pastor or other church staff person) is a great way to walk through this planning process. You can do this right from the start or partner with others as needed along the way. List possible people who you think would be helpful in this process: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

2. Growing in Knowledge: What resources will help you grow in knowledge and understanding of the core value? Books:________________________________________________________ Internet Resources:______________________________________________ Classes/Seminars:_______________________________________________ People:_______________________________________________________ Other:_________________________________________________________ 46

Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

3. What actions will you take to start practicing your core value in new/deeper ways? This may include daily devotions, weekly classes, small group attendance, regular service at church, home or in the community, etc. . . be specific, including dates if needed. The more specific you can be the more accountability will be built into the plan, and thus, the more success you will have in actually doing and benefiting from the plan. ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

4. Who will you ask to pray for you regarding strength and wisdom for carrying out this spiritual growth development plan? Sharing this plan with at least two others and asking them to pray for you will do two things. First, you will receive prayer support from them. Second, you will have two partners who will periodically ask you how you are doing and who will give you encouragement, guidance, and support to help you succeed. Prayer Partner #1: ______________________________________________ Prayer Partner #2: ______________________________________________

Secondary Growth Area: __________________________________________ 1. Do you want to do this planning alone or with another person who can partner with you? Sometimes partnering with another (a friend, prayer partner, a family member, someone from your small group, your pastor or other church staff person) is a great way to walk through this planning process. You can do this right from the start or partner with others as needed along the way. List possible people who you think would be helpful in this process: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

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Christian Journey Assessment & Planning Guide

2. Growing in Knowledge: What resources will help you grow in knowledge and understanding of the core value? Books:________________________________________________________ Internet Resources:______________________________________________ Classes/Seminars:_______________________________________________ People:_______________________________________________________ Other:_________________________________________________________

3. What actions will you take to start practicing your core value in new/deeper ways? This may include daily devotions, weekly classes, small group attendance, regular service at church, home or in the community, etc. . . be specific, including dates if needed. The more specific you can be the more accountability will be built into the plan, and thus, the more success you will have in actually doing and benefiting from the plan. ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

4. Who will you ask to pray for you regarding strength and wisdom for carrying out this spiritual growth development plan? Sharing this plan with at least two others and asking them to pray for you will do two things. First you will receive prayer support from them. Second, you will have two partners who will periodically ask you how you are doing and who will give you encouragement, guidance, and support to help you succeed. Prayer Partner #1: ______________________________________________ Prayer Partner #2: ______________________________________________

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Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church Grayslake, Illinois 60030 285 Washington Street

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