Thursday, April 15, 2010

Assessing the Outcome

This is Part 7 of a behind the scenes look at the development of National Community Church's "From Garden to City" Bible reading plan. It's step-by-step through our process of developing our church-wide reading plan with the hopes that there are some transferable principles. Today, we talk about assessing the final product.

The last step in our process is one that we are in the midst of currently-- assessing the final product and the ways it's being implemented. For us, the ultimate win is that NCCers would establish a daily discipline of reading the Bible. Each of us on the team had slightly differing secondary wins-- to see people get excited about Scripture, to help people get a more comprehensive understanding of the major themes or stories of Scripture, to encourage people to dive into the lesser-explored sections of Scripture, to mobilize the entire church around the same topics and the same time, etc.

The one thing we've learned-- the plan isn't perfect. Some of the Psalms were rather arbitrarily assigned to certain months. We didn't plan well for our August missions series. Some of the books are read out of chronological order in ways that are confusing. It's got it's good points and it's negative points.

During the preparation stages, there were certainly moments where we felt like we were standing on Mt. Sinai as pieces of the plan were divinely deposited into our spreadsheet. There were other moments where we felt like we were throwing darts into the table of contents blindfolded.

Some of the main questions I'm asking now are 1) did the books fit with the seasons well 2) did our sermons track with the reading well? 3) how many people are engaging in discussions online, in small groups, and with friends? 4) where are series transitions awkward? 5) where does the chronology get muddled?

At the end of the day, we will be asking: 1) did people read their Bibles more? 2) did people explore sections of Scripture that they've never considered before? 3) did we consistently provide beneficial resources throughout the year?

We are having a blast so far...and my prayer is that our lives will be transformed by the Word this year.


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