This booklet can help you discern God’s call on your life. We are naturally assuming you are praying about this matter continually. It is our hope at the North American Mission Board that you will take some time to prayerfully go through these pre-assessment tools. We believe this is a great first step in your journey into church planting.
We begin our journey by discovering God’s call in your life. This is something that you should take very seriously. Past experience from church planters tell us that one’s call is paramount to church planting. God’s call on your life to a specific place at a specific time will keep you there when you want to give up.
Henry Blackaby speaks of four ways to affirm God speaking to you and I think this applies significantly to God calling out church planters. God will use His Word to speak to you.
Can you identify some places in scripture where God has spoken to you about this endeavor?
Can you give some specific examples where your prayers have been answered regarding the call into church planting?
What about other believers? Have they affirmed this direction in your life?
If married, one key place to talk about your call is with your spouse. If your children are old enough you should include them on these discussions as well with some close friends.
What are your circumstances right now?
Here are some questions to consider:
Can you plant your church and keep your current employment ? Y or N
Are your children at an age where you can move? Y or N
How much consumer debt do you have? _______
Are you able to move anywhere? Y or N
Is there a particular place where you feel God could be leading you? _______
If yes, where ? _______________________________________________________
When could you be ready to go? _______
Do you relate well to people of other cultures? Y or N
Two excellent resources to consider would be:
Created To Be God’s Friend, by Henry Blackaby
Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby
Here Am I, Send Me …
Understanding How God
has Equipped Me to Be a Church Planter
Here Am I, Send Me … Now What?
Understanding How God has Equipped Me to Be a Church Planter PART ONE: Please take A Spiritual Gifts Inventory. We have included The Discovery Trail printed by the American Tract Society. Once you have taken this spiritual gifts inventory write out what you believe to be your top three gifts.
The Discovery Trail
Spiritual Gifts Inventory Directions: Honestly evaluate each of the following statements based on your interest. Assume that you have all the experience and training necessary to accomplish the task. Beside each number write one letter expressing your reaction to the statement:
L = Love it! M = Maybe N = No Way!
E = Enjoy it P = Probably
__1 Rejoice in God’s provision even while the checkbook is in the red.
__2 Clean the kitchen once a week.
__3 Build sets for a drama.
__4 Search the Bible to check the validity of a sermon or Bible lesson.
__5 Study a demographic survey.
__6 Welcome an unexpected guest into my house.
__7 Use creative ability (writing, art, drama, music) to benefit the body of Christ.
__8 Find ways to make biblical content “come alive” for students.
__9 Call to encourage a friend to stand strong in the faith.
__10 Help with the emotional pain of the unemployed.
__11 Give use of my car for youth retreats.
__12 Plead the cause of God to people.
__13 Talk about Jesus to strangers who do not know Him.
__14 Motivate groups toward specific biblical objectives.
__15 Recognize root problems keeping someone from growing spiritually.
__16 Be responsible for the spiritual lives of Christians.
Tell Me More Now that you’ve completed and self-scored the Spiritual Gifts Inventory, you’ll notice some areas of strength. The top three scores represent your spiritual gifts.
Here is a description of each spiritual gift, described in terms of a capacity:
Faith – The capacity to trust God for what can’t be seen and to act on God’s promises (Romans 4:18-21, Hebrews 11).
Service/Helps – The capacity to take the initiative to meet the practical needs of others, freeing them to fulfill their own calling (Acts 6:1-7).
Craftsmanship – The capacity to facilitate ministry through the use of hands and minds by creative means (Exodus 28: 3-4)
Discernment – The capacity to separate truth from error and perceive variance from God’s Word (James 3:13-18, 1 John 4:1-6).
Apostle – The capacity to start new ministries and oversee their development (Romans 15:20).
Hospitality – The capacity to make others feel welcome, accepted, relaxed, and comfortable (1 Peter 4:9,10).
Creative communication – The capacity to communicate God’s truth through a variety of art forms (Psalm 150, 1 Corinthians 14:26).
Teaching – The capacity to educate by clearly explaining and applying God’s word (Romans 12:6-8, Titus 3:1,2).
Encouragement – The capacity to give reassurance and support (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Mercy – The capacity to detect hurt and feel compassion for those who are hurting (Luke 10:30-37).
Giving – The capacity to cheerfully contribute material resources beyond a “tithe” for the work of the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
Prophecy – The capacity to proclaim and apply God’s truth and expose sin (1 Corinthians 14:3-5).
Evangelism – The capacity to communicate the good news of Jesus so unbelievers can respond in faith. (Acts 8:26-40).
Leadership – The capacity to instill vision, motivate and direct people to accomplish ministry (Hebrews 13:7,17; 1 Timothy 3).
Exhortation – The capacity to stimulate faith and promote Christian maturity in others (Acts 11:23,24, 14:22).
Shepherding – The capacity to guide and nurture an individual or group to grow in faith (1 Peter 5:1-11).
Administration – The capacity to execute plans by managing people, resources, and time (Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 5:4).
The Inventory you’ve just completed is merely one part of a Discovery System designed to guide lay people in ministry. This system:
…covers the whole person in a clear & concise format
…is the only system designed around the pastoral staff. When your church needs people in ministry, two
clicks of the mouse will reveal all those whose God-given gear matches each specific ministry position!
We recommend you check out the software & entire system by going to atstracts.org or calling 800.584.7228. Thanks go to Pastor M. Wayne Braudrick for allowing us to use this material. It has been provided for you as a courtesy, and is not to be reproduced in any manner. Pastor Braudrick and his church are not associated with the North American Mission Board except as a friend in ministry.
My Spiritual Gifts:
How has God gifted me? My top three spiritual gifts from the spiritual gift inventory:
We would also recommend that you ask your spouse and some close Christian friends about your spiritual gifts.
Did they affirm what you discovered with this tool? Y or N
While the Scriptures discuss and lists many of the spiritual gifts (Rom. 12; 1Cor.12; Eph.4), the diversity of the lists and the witness of the church suggests that they are not exhaustive. Whatever the gift "each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms" (1Pet. 4:10).
For further descriptions about the role of Spiritual Gifts in the life of the church planter refer to: Aubrey Malphurs Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century, Baker Books 1998.
(Passion for Ministry):
What Do I Like Doing?
My Heart (Passion for Ministry):
What Do I Like Doing?
Please answer the following questions:
I feel most significant when I minister to the following groups of people:
(Please prioritize your top three) Preschoolers ____ Children ____ Students _____ Women ____ Men ____
Internationals _____ Homeless ____ Married Couples ______ Family ____
I like to take something that has already been started and organized
and grow it to it’s fullest potential. 1 2 3 4 5
I like to keep things under control. 1 2 3 4 5
I like for things to operate smoothly and efficiently. 1 2 3 4 5
I love to facilitate improvement in an organization. 1 2 3 4 5
I like to work within given structure. 1 2 3 4 5
I tend to get a little uneasy when things are disorganized and
inefficient. 1 2 3 4 5
I like to build effective teams. 1 2 3 4 5
I like to commit to things long term. 1 2 3 4 5
Total Points - _______ CATEGORY FOUR
I like to take a program, church or business that is not doing
well and give it new life. 1 2 3 4 5
I like to find creative approaches to problems. 1 2 3 4 5
I like to give hope to an existing program. 1 2 3 4 5
I have patience to work on projects that take a long
time to turn around in order to see improvement. 1 2 3 4 5
I love to look at a process, evaluate it and then determine
what needs to be done to make it more efficient. 1 2 3 4 5
I am a problem solver. 1 2 3 4 5
I am good at resolving conflicts. 1 2 3 4 5
I am able to bring change about in a positive manner. 1 2 3 4 5
Total Points - _______
Unpacking Your Ministry Preference
If you scored highest in category one you are primarily an initiator. You like to start projects. You like to start ministries. You get an idea and you are able to get the ball rolling. Most church planters score high in this area. You most likely will have the place in mind where you feel God is leading you to plant a church and it does not bother you a bit to be the pioneer to that area. Initiators make great church planters but they have to work hard at being able develop a realistic strategy to implement their vision. Once the church plant moves into an organizing stage then you may become restless and ready to start something else. A caution here is not to move on too soon. A challenge for you to consider is to develop leaders in the church that can take the church to the next level.
If you scored higher in the second category you are an organizer. You like to put order to the chaos. You can take an idea and come up with an action plan to see it accomplished. You might operate best where there has been some preparation work in the field where the church is to be started. Organizers can make great church planters but once the church has been organized and structure is in place then you may become bored.
If you scored high in this area you are a developer. You like to take what has been started and organized and develop it. You are good at taking things to the next level and providing good leadership to grow the church. If you are considering church planting you may be better suited to be the pastor of a mission church or at least where the mission has a core group of people. You will still need to cast vision and organize. If you are a developer you may struggle in an area where you have to start something from scratch. You should consider gathering some people around you who are initiators.
If you scored high in this category you are a revitalizer. You could be great in taking a church that has plateaued or is declining and give it new life. You are patient and willing to take time to see the church turn around and become an effective witness to the world. We need pastors who are revitalizers. Revitalizers can often become church planting pastors in areas where the city has transitioned and has become multi-cultural.
for Church Planters
Behavioral Assessment for Church Planters We would like for you to take a few moments a take this behavioral assessment diagnostic tool. Please mark the answers based upon the way you normally behave in these particular situations. Be completely honest with yourself as you answer.
20 Questions for Potential Church Planters
Do you regularly project into the future in your planning?Y or N
Do you create your own “To Do” list each day ? Y or N
Being Able to Create Ownership
Do you regularly delegate items on your “To Do” list to other people? Y or N
Relates and Reached Lost People
Can you give me an example of a person who does not know Christ that you have developed a relationship with and been able to share Jesus with them within this past year? Y or N
Is your wife actively involved in ministry opportunities ? Y or N
Effectively Builds Relationships
Do you initiate the majority of your friendships? Y or N
Committed to Church Growth
Have you led a group at church and experienced growth? Y or N
Meeting the Needs of Your Community
Have you ever recognized a need in your community
and proactively did something about it? Y or N
Utilizes the Giftedness of Others
Have you had the opportunity to place another person
Are you flexible when it comes to “change”? Y or N
Can you give me an example of a time when you have built
a high performance team? Y or N
Does “Keep on Keeping On” describe your work ethic? Y or N
Do you regularly see God answer specific prayer
requests in your life? Y or N 14. Having Vision Have you been able to start a project from the beginning?Y or N 15. Motivation Do you take the initiative in most of your tasks? Y or N 16. Creates Ownership Gain your commitment from people to your visionY or N
Relates and Reaches Lost People
Do you have relationships with people
who are different than you? Y or N
Do you and your wife have a clear understanding in regards to
roles you each play in ministry? Y or N
Effectively Builds Relationships
Are you proactive in getting to know people on a personal basis? Y or N
Do you seek out opportunities to minister to people who
are different than you? Y or N
If you answered YES to at least 15 you may be well suited for church planting. We recommend that you talk to your pastor, Director of Missions or State Convention office. They may suggest for you to take a church planter assessment. This is a four hour interview based upon your past experiences in your life both from a personal, professional and ministry experiences. This assessment will help you in discovering your calling and giftedness in church planting.
On the next page you can complete your profile and use this as a guide as you talk to church planter leaders about placement.
Church Planter Profile of:
____________________ My Call: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ My Spiritual Gifts:
My Heart for Ministry: I have a passion for … ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ My Ministry Preference: (Check One)
Category One: Initiator _____
Category Two: Organizer _____
Category Three: Developer _____
Category Four: Revitalizer _____
20 questions for Potential Church Planters # of Yes ________ # of No ___________ If you have answered yes to at least 15 of these questions than you may want to consider church planting as a ministry option for you. Of course it comes down to God’s call on your life.
We appreciate the time you have taken to complete this self assessment. We hope it has helped you understand how God has uniquely gifted you. If you would like to talk about this further please talk to your pastor or local associational leader, state convention church planting leader or the North American Mission Board, SBC. You may contact the North American Mission Board at IseeThem@namb.net.