Are You Committed?

The assimilation/mobilization goal of each church should be "Every member a minister."

This goal applies, regardless of the paradigm and methodological model we may use, because it is a biblical mandate, according to the Great Commission and other passages on discipleship, and it embodies the priesthood owf the believer.

We have been failing in this task of multiplying disciples. We need a system that shows us how to do our part to make that happen.


PLACE Ministries was inaugurated in 1998, co-founded by Jay and Ginger McSwain. Jay wrote their premiere resource, the PLACE Assessment inventory. It identifies people's best ministry match possibilities, based on their personality, spiritual gifts, abilities for most productive work environment, passions, and life experiences. By 2004, it was clear that there were barriers between this effective identification process and actually connecting people into meaningful ministry. Jay had functioned on a wrong assumption, that if we just help people identify their ministry design, everything else would work out fine.

The main disconnect occurred when referring to church staff those who had taken the PLACE Assessment. For a variety of reasons, staff members were uninformed about the identifying process, unskilled in supervising and mobilizing volunteers, and/or unwilling to incorporate volunteers.

The results for potential volunteers were confusion, frustration, and a sense of trust being broken. Many did not find a meaningful role in ministry, while others endured a disappointing experience.

The results for church and ministry staff were often confusion and frustration as they sought to cope with volunteers when they were not trained for their role as supervisor. Many ultimately experienced varying degrees of burnout as they suffered the ramifications of volunteers exiting through the back door of the church.

Eventually, Jay figured out that the breakdowns in mobilization "systems" occurred precisely because church leaders weren't using a system. We typically attempt to piece together separate actions like PLACE which may have been good in themselves, but they do not add up to a coherent process. Are You Committed? Connecting God's People to Meaningful Ministry gives the results of Jay's strategic work to critique the mobilization process and develop a complete, holistic process that integrates six elements simultaneously: connecting, identifying, equipping, empowering, encouraging, and multiplying.