Under The Hood—Assessing Joy!

Ta-Da! Introducing you to the assessment scales! They are now included in the Beta 2.0 version of the Joy Starts Here book to help pastors, leaders and individuals take an objective look at JSHcover_300personal and corporate joy levels and see how that may be effecting family life, work and/or ministry.

Joy is the center of the self-propagating recovery model. That is, everything we know that is important about character only spreads from one person to another when we are glad to be together. Without joy, none of the things we are trying to spread to the world is actually going to happen.

So we decided it would be very useful if users could do some kind of assessment of how they are doing with joy growth.

These assessments will also help you pinpoint the most strategic place to begin starting joy—in your home, church or in the community.

To give you the flavor of what you can expect to find in the assessments we will go through the Shalom Scale.

The Shalom Scale is a good indicator of the spiritual condition of your congregation. Shalom happens when people have an interactive sense of God’s presence in their lives. Answer each question for yourself as an individual but then think how you would answer it for your group or church.

Answer each question on a scale from 0 = not likely, up to 10 = most of the time.

1. Every time something bothers me I talk with God until I feel better.

2. When things go wrong at church we still feel peaceful. (Can’t have a church fight if this is true!)

3. I feel God with me. (At this time, right now.)

4. Most of the time I feel very peaceful inside.

5. Prayer helped me see others differently many times this last year. (This question is intended to see if you have the custom of going to God and talking with Him about situations.)

6. My church family helps me find God’s perspective when I am distressed. (This one reveals what the church’s resources look like.)

7. Generally I like who I am. (Here we are looking for the more long term effects of Immanuel Shalom. If you have a practice of seeking God’s presence about everything in your life including you, in time you will have the general sense that you like who God created you to be. That is the cumulative effect of practicing Shalom over a long period of time and not just in your immediate situation.)

8. I can clearly tell of times when God changed my perspective. (One of the effects of Immanuel Shalom is God changing your perspective. He helps you see thing from His point of view.)

9. I feel appreciation most of the day. (Appreciation is a good sign of your joy levels.)

10. Love often moves me out of my comfort zone.

clip_image002Here is the tally page as it will appear in the book. When you have answered all questions, total up your scores and make a mark at the bottom of the page indicating how high up the scale you go. Obviously if your scores are down near the bottom you are not having a lot of shalom. And, if they are up near 100, in most cases we will wonder if you are being truthful!

If you look at all the odd numbered questions—1, 3, 5, 7, 9 those are all about the individual, whereas the even numbered questions—2, 4, 6, 8, 10 are about the community. We plan to have an online version which will probably have about twice as many questions.

Click here for a brief description of all the Joy Assessment Scales.

Assessments as Counseling Tools — If you want to do a comparison for counseling purposes, you total the points for all 10 questions. You could have a maximum of 50 points for individual versus community and that will make a bigger difference perhaps on some scales than others. But it would let you know whether the person involved sees themselves as the problem or the resource or whether it is the community they are in. Using the Assessment of Joy, you would be able to look at that and say, here is a person who is very joyful but they live in a very low joy situation. Or the other way around—here is someone who is surrounded by joy but they themselves are dragging at the bottom. It is a little helpful thing for you pastors to use in your counseling practice.

The Purpose of Assessments — The purpose is not to get a score but to start a discussion:

  • discuss as a group your overall joy levels
  • discuss as a community how many shalom kind of experiences your people were having
  • discuss as a community how to live this joy filled lifestyle.

This will also give an indication about how families are doing as you get through some of the other scales. It is not just about the individual but also about the place you live.

To get the book or the assessments, click here: Joy Starts Here. The Beta 2.0 version contains the assessments already.

If you happen to be one of those wonderful people who ran right out and ordered a Beta 1.0 book, we want you to know that you can get a copy of the assessments as a download by going to the “Joy Forum” in the upper right hand corner of the website page. Sign in (or sign up) as a member of the forum—it is free. Once you are on the forum you can scroll down to The Joy Starts Here book and it is available. There is a link where you can download a copy of the book. You will have to enter a code which is on page 250 of the Beta book. Just put it in as you go…so go ahead and use that.

We also encourage you to visit the forums if you have questions and join the discussion.

One last word! We have pastors resources for Father’s Day. Check this out… http://www.thrivetoday.org/pastorsweekly.html

Blessings, Chris and Carol

Chris Coursey, B.A. MA Theology, International speaker/trainer and co-author of several books, articles and resources www.thrivetoday.org 

Carol A. Brown, Best selling author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive                                           www.fromgodsheart.com  http://connectwithcarolbrown.blogspot.com

This post was developed from a talk by Dr. Jim Wilder for Pastors Weekly May 23, 2013.

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