NextSteps Assessment & Program Summary

BIG NEWS! In the second quarter of 2016, E-Church Essentials, LLC will launch an additional assessment program called "NextSteps, by". NextSteps will be a real game-changer for your church. NextSteps is a web-based disciple-making solution that will help your leadership to:

  • ASSESS people regularly for their present spiritual formation phase.
  • TRACK people’s discipleship progress, formation-phase graduations, and global discipleship trends for church ministry planning.
  • EQUIP people based upon three broad formation phases: Discover, Develop, and Deploy...with 3 sub-phases each, totaling 9 Phases in all.

  • Each of the 9 phases of Spiritual Formation supports a Customizable Strategy Page. Based upon how people score within the assessment, they are sent to an appropriate Strategy Page to begin taking practical steps to mature to the next level. These Strategy Pages communicates your church's plan to support your people's discipleship progress at each one of the nine formation phases. Strategy Page elements include:

  • Phase-Appropriate Books
  • Phase-Appropriate Videos
  • Phase-Appropriate Audio Teachings
  • Registration for Phase-Appropriate Small Groups
  • Registration for Phase-Appropriate Classes
  • Registration for Phase-Appropriate Programs
  • Registration for Phase-Appropriate Service Projects
  • And more!

  • And catch this…NextSteps enables your leadership to edit the question pools and all the reports so that the overall assessment tool may more closely match your church’s unique culture! In addition, the NextSteps program can be used as a stand-alone tool, or used with’s present ministry mobilization assessments. The data between all the assessments is completely integrated and is easy to use. However, unlike our long-established ministry mobilization assessments, which are based upon static personality dynamics and are intended to be used only once, the NextSteps program assesses Spiritual Formation (i.e. Disciple-making), which is a very fluid and dynamic process. This is why the NextSteps program can be set to automatically remind your people to retake the assessment every six (6), twelve (12), or eighteen (18) months.

    The assessment portion of NextSteps comes in two parts. Part 1 assesses an individual's "Felt-Need". A felt-need is generally tied to an emotional need that drives people's spiritual formation, or at times, hinders one's spiritual formation. An example of a felt-need that may hinder spiritual formation, is if Mary is presently undergoing a painful divorce, she is likely dealing with emotional and spiritual issues related to acceptance, guilt, anger, resentment, rejection, self-worth and the like. At this point in Mary's life, it is less important that she graduates from the Develop/Participation phase to the Develop/Preparation phase. Rather, Mary needs to be loved. She needs people to walk with her through this painful time in her life. An example of a felt-need that may drive an indivdiual's spiritual formation, would be that of John who is hungry to learn more about the Bible. Without a solid Biblical foundation, John cannot mature in his faith relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Part 2 of the NextSteps assessment associates every user with one of nine spiritual formation phases: Three phases for "Discovering Christ", three phases for "Developing in Christ", and three phases for being "Deployed for Christ". The assessment tracks every user's discipleship history and the dates of their formation-phase graduations. User data can then be graphed globally to provide pastoral leadership with an honest perspective of their church's spiritual development, and make apporpriate programming changes to support the needs represented within the congregation.

    Beginning in March, 2016, E-Church Essentials, LLC will need five (5) beta-church sites to help us fine-tune the NextSteps program prior to release. If your church wants to serve as a beta-site, please contact David A Posthuma at 1-800-724-1159, or email him at If more than five churches apply, preference will be given to established clients. I hope we can work together very soon to intentionally disciple your people to maturity in Christ, and to equip and mobilize them into effective Kingdom ministry.