Posted on : Thursday February 3, 2022

Joe Saweikis, the senior pastor of Mountain City Church in Frostburg, was a little skeptical when Dr. Randy Millwood, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s (BCM/D) interim Church Services team leader, suggested that he complete a Core Values Index Assessment (CVI). Saweikis consented and discovered that not only was the assessment accurate, it also changed the way he now relates to his family and church. “The way I perceive things determines how I interact with people. So, it helped me see my false perceptions or tendencies to look at things a certain way,” he said.

Millwood explained that the CVI shows how our core values impact us in areas such as how we lead, learn, feel threatened, relate to others, deal with conflict, and contribute to the world, our family, jobs, and ministries. He emphasized that it differs from personality-based assessment tools. “It’s not impacted by what’s going on in your life or how you’re feeling,” he said. Those types of factors don’t alter CVI scores, which generally stay the same throughout your life. Millwood said the repeatability factor is about 94%. That means that someone can take the test multiple times and have close to the same response each time. Introduced to the tool at a Renovate Conference about five years ago, Millwood said that, after taking the assessment, he has personally monitored the reliability and found it surprisingly steady. “It’s short and simple, and the feedback has been good,” he said.

“The CVI is also useful in identifying ways you and others contribute to a team. Some people lead in a more catalytic way and would be more suited as planters, while others would be more driven by wisdom and compassion and would be more challenged with a revitalization ministry, and still, others are ‘steady at the wheel’ and fit best in a church pressing forward on mission.

“Pastors can also use the tool with others to learn how deacons handle conflict or in a general way to help identify areas where volunteer leaders would be best suited to serve,” Millwood said.

“This tool elevates self-awareness,” he explained, adding that this quality is necessary for leadership roles.

Saweikis’ results highlighted “banker” and “wisdom” traits. The need for information makes sense to him. “For example, if I don’t have enough information, I don’t feel worthy enough to interact in a conversation,” he reflected. Now, he said, he allows himself to join in and asks questions.

Also, Saweikis said he tends not to act or move forward without enough data, as opposed to others who can “go with their gut.” He reflected on a conversation with his son years ago. “He was a senior getting ready for the military,” Saweikis said. “He asked me, ‘Why does everything you do work out?’ I told him, ‘I don’t do things I don’t know how to do!’” Reflecting on that answer, Saweikis now realizes that isn’t the best way to think. “If you’re following God, you can’t do that. You have to go out on faith,” he shared.

Saweikis encourages others to consider the CVI but added, “It’s a tool, not our identity. Our identity is found in Christ and what He says about it.”

The BCM/D has partnered with EXOS Advisors to host a CVI online webinar from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 10. The seminar will provide a more detailed interpretation of CVI results. Participants can take the free assessment online and get immediate results. A more comprehensive report is available but not required.

The cost is $5. Visit our website for more information or to register.

Sharon Mager is a Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware communications specialist and BaptistLIFE correspondent.