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LIFESIGNS

What is the purpose of LifeSigns?

The purpose of LifeSigns® is to help you experience the abundant life of Christ.  The problem is that we all get busy, distracted, and wounded—so we become isolated from God and from those around us.

  

LifeSigns connects you with Christ in a “vertical conversation” and with others in a “horizontal conversation” so you can experience God's grace and grow like never before.

How do the "two conversations" work together?

First, the on-line LifeSigns assessment is not a sterile evaluation—it’s an experience.  It gently guides you through a “vertical conversation” with your Heavenly Father.  The questions are all based on Scripture and asked by God in the first person.  The vertical conversation touches every part of life:  marriage, career, finances, parenting, relationships, wounds, addictions, ministry, and intimacy with Christ.

  

Second, LifeSigns helps you open up with someone you trust in a “horizontal conversation” about, “How are you?  Really.”  Once you complete the online tool, the software generates a fully customized 24-page Personal Growth Plan.  Additionally, the LifeSigns book includes twelve candid “conversation starters.”  One-on-one or in a small group, you’ll discuss your strengths and struggles, your priorities for growth, and become accountable for taking specific steps of faith.

Where did LifeSigns come from?

When my home church, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, opened a new 3,200-seat worship center, attendance nearly doubled.  Our elders and pastors were thrilled—and worried.  They began asking tough questions:  “Are we a mile wide and an inch deep?  Are new people connected in community—or just consumers?  Do they have any idea how to grow in Christ?”  These concerns were justified, in that more than 50% of our regular attenders were not connected to the body in a meaningful way.

  

In 2008, my church assembled a cross-functional team of pastors and leaders, headed by our Pastor of Spiritual Growth, Michelle Attar.  Michelle challenged us:  “We want to help people at Bent Tree take the next step in their spiritual walk through an online spiritual assessment, with follow-up coaching, repeated on a yearly basis.”

  

So, our little project team collected surveys from a dozen prominent churches.  We met and prayed.  We collated and debated, amassing a library of 270 potential questions.  But nothing stuck.  None of it felt like “us.”  Out of frustration, we developed something radically different from a church survey—LifeSigns.

  

Initially, church attenders were our target audience.  Soon, word-of-mouth reached un-churched and un-saved people.  They too wanted to experience a “candid conversation with God” via LifeSigns.

"For the word of God is alive and powerful.

      It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires."

– Hebrews 4:12

What are the Biblical foundations for LifeSigns?

Psalm 139:23-24 provides the Biblical framework for vertical LifeSigns conversations:  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  And reveal any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”  Notice that God is the one doing the searching, testing, and leading—not ourselves.

  

The origin of ALL LifeSigns questions is Scripture, and in some cases, whole chapters of the Bible.  This technique helps participants focus on the Biblical signs of life, without shaming them about what may be lacking.  For example, we express Ephesians 4:26-27 as a LifeSigns question on Marriage in this way:

"Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity."

                                         – Ephesians 4:26-27

Resolving Conflict:  When there’s an issue, how often do you and your spouse “work it out” the same day? (i.e., discuss and reconcile, rather than going to bed angry and hurt with the issue unresolved)

Proverbs 27:17 provides the Biblical mandate for the horizontal LifeSigns conversation, reminding us that, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

  

Hebrews 4:12 helps to explain the high degree of internal and external validity we find in the LifeSigns data Beta-coefficients: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” The reason LifeSigns questions are sharp and penetrating, revealing the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, is because they’re all tightly based on the living and active Word of God.

How does LifeSigns fit within our culture?

Research by the Barna Group confirms what we already know:  With today’s technology, people have never been more connected—or more isolated.  They are hurting and hiding in plain sight, often avoiding well-meaning people who may judge or reject them.  Overloaded schedules and overloaded senses numb us to the deeper, spiritual things.  Even in downtime, we’re distracted by social media, 24/7 cable news, or binge watching our favorite shows on Netflix.  And when we’re hurting, there’s a basic human tendency to withdraw even further.

  

LifeSigns was deliberately designed to be an antidote to these modern maladies.

  

The LifeSigns process counteracts both our chronic busyness and isolation.  Step one, the vertical conversation, addresses our need to deeply connect with Christ in the middle of a chaotic, fragmented life.  Step two, the horizontal conversation breaks the grip of isolation by helping us become fully known to another person.  The entire process rests on the bedrock of God’s grace, not on good works or performance.

  

We resisted the temptation to preach via the LifeSigns survey, and we’ve tried to avoid theological terminology or spiritual jargon. LifeSigns translates big Biblical truths into a familiar context, expressed in everyday language, accessible to the widest range of people possible.

"My grace is sufficient for you,

      for my power is made perfect in weakness."

– 2 Corinthians 12:9

What does LifeSigns Partners offer?

LifeSigns Partners provides customized LifeSigns assessments, books, small group resources, and church consulting. Scott and his team have developed additional versions of LifeSigns: for leaders, for students, and for married couples. He has assembled a team of tenured pastors who help guide client churches through the process of LifeSigns customization, integration with small groups, and use of the aggregate results to guide church programs and preaching.

  

LifeSigns is different from most other assessments. LifeSigns is not about your spiritual gifts (SHAPE), your personality (DiSC, Meyers-Briggs), church strategy (Reveal), or cultural trends (Barna).

  

Our mission statement describes LifeSigns this way: "We facilitate life-changing conversations, vertical and horizontal, so people will experience God’s grace and dare to follow Jesus on a great adventure."

Curious about becoming a Certified LifeSigns Partner?

Jesus Christ is the author and architect of LifeSigns . . . and He just happened to use Scott Watson to do it.

  

Scott’s relatable and grace-filled style is borne of difficult personal experiences: childhood abuse, divorce (not his choice), single parenting, addiction, and business ownership. His LifeSigns work is fueled by the conviction that, Christ’s power is "made perfect in weakness." Like apostle Paul, he now can "delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

Scott is the founder of two companies, the author of three books, dozens of magazine and journal articles, a keynote speaker, and a published researcher.

  

Scott is also a three time Ironman® triathlon competitor. When inevitably asked, "Why do an Ironman?" he responds, "There is tremendous value in coming to the end of yourself. It’s where we finally and fully discover God’s grace."

  

Scott came to know Christ his freshman year in college after a brush with death while driving home from a party intoxicated.  As he was transformed by the grace of Christ, Scott soon began to use his gifts of leading and teaching to help others experience the abundant life in Christ.

Who created LifeSigns?