The Participant

The Participant

Churches will use various methods in scheduling connection session appointments. The participant may have received a postcard, phone call, or e-mail confirming their connection session appointment with you, the their Connection Coach. It would be helpful if you are able to confirm the appointment with them a day or two before it is scheduled.

The participant should have completed the Finding Your PLACE profile at the end of Session 5—Experiences of Life.

Each participant will be encouraged to pray for wisdom and guidance for their connection, session, and for discovering the next step in finding their ministry within the church and community.

The participant may come to the connection session with more questions than they had before they went through PLACE. Do not be afraid to say, “I don’t know the answer.” If God is working in their life, this could happen between the workshop and the connection session.

While most will enter into the connection session very excited about where and how God desires for them to minister, some will come apprehensive and reluctant to engage in ministry.

Many participants, especially those who are doing the assessments for the first time, may be disappointed and/or confused with their findings.

 

Help the participants discern where the confusion is coming from. Possible sources could include parents (yes even for grown adults) who have had certain expectations for them so they attempt to think and act in certain ways contrary to who they really are deep down inside. Another source could be friends, co-workers, and spouses. Participants may attempt again to think and act in certain ways to be liked, to belong, and/or not to be excluded from a group. Confusion can set in when individuals are going down one path and God is trying to take them down another path.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

(Proverbs 16:9)

Another source of confusion is when we learn how we are made. We often become confused on that being the blueprint for what we are to do, and where we are to go with our lives.

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

(Proverbs 27:1)

This is where trusting God to direct our paths comes into play. If we knew the future, life would be dull and boring. The PLACE profile helps participants know what choices to make as God directs their paths, because they understand how He has made them. The key scripture is:

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

(Proverbs 22:6)

“In the way he should go” means “according to their bent.” In other words, don’t try to be the person God has not created you to be from the beginning.

 

For some of the participants who answer the assessments and fill out the profile HONESTLY, disappointment will be their response. It is one thing to be who you are, it is another to see possibly for the first time in black and white on the profile and in the assessments who you are and be described so accurately, especially when focusing on traits that are not positive. Another reason for disappointment is wanting to be a certain type of person and realizing that is not who you are. Others will be disappointed because of expectations they feel other people have for them. They may realize through their profile they are not able to measure up to those expectations. Individuals do not like to admit they are influenced by peer pressure, but we know we are influenced by others. This influence can come in the type of personality an individual tries to portray. Individuals look at those who are outgoing, exciting, and cheerful and decide that is how they want to project themselves to others when deep down that is not who they are. It is vital to stress to them there are no bad profiles. It is who you become and who is in control of your life that is important.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

(Psalm 139:13-16)

Experience has shown a percentage of the individuals will not answer the assessments honestly. Disappointment, confusion, and expectations cause many adults to answer the assessments inaccurately. Be gentle if you perceive an individual has not been honest in filling out their profile. Avoid being harsh, judgemental, or condemning. Ask questions like, “How do you see yourself with ____ personality?” “Can you give examples of how this personality type, spiritual gift, etc. is demonstrated in your life?” “Do you ever feel this characteristic of your life
is unnatural?”

 

The workshop and/or connection session may not be the place where participants who are confused or dishonest with their profiles gain peace and clarity. In situations where the participant is not “catching it” that is okay. Some people have better self-awareness than others. How many of us have had instances where it took us four or five times to say, “Now
I understand.”

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