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If you need directions, just ask. That’s what 19 Christian Reformed men and women did when they converged at a Grand Rapids, Mich., hotel in mid-October.

They came to participate in Home Missions’ DIRECTIONS Assessment Center, a two-and-a-half-day event that helps identify persons who have leadership gifts.

“DIRECTIONS Assessment has become a useful tool for identifying future leaders of CRC ministries and especially of new churches,” said Jim Osterhouse, director of leadership development for Home Missions. “Our denomination is experiencing a leadership shortage. There just aren’t enough new church planters and ministry leaders right now.”

Participants engage in several simulation exercises, small group interactions, and individual presentations, as well as meeting one-on-one with assessors.

Felix and Keri Fernandez came from Orlando, Fla., where Felix serves on the ministry staff at Oasis Community CRC. He said the assessment process is a bit like preparing soldiers for battle by sending them to boot camp. “Only in this case, we’re preparing people for service in the church.”

Since 1992 when Home Missions held its first DIRECTIONS Assessment Center, the agency has evaluated more than 400 couples or individuals for service in the church.

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