Am I a Church Planter?
By Scott Thomas
Every young man that considers church planting asks the question, “Am I a Church Planter?” It is the question I asked myself many years ago. It is the question we ask every man who submits himself to our Acts 29 assessment process to be a lead planter in our network. Many times he is depending on our assessment process to confirm his calling.
Over the next year, this blog will focus on ten qualities that we believe are important for a church planter to effectively plant the gospel in a community. We will produce articles that reflect on one quality each month and then we hope to publish an e-book on each quality that compiles the articles into a document equivalent in size to a single chapter in a book.
Most church planting books and publications helpfully focus on strategies for planting a church and very few—I know of none—focus entirely on the development of a church planter. So, we are praying that this project will prove to be a valuable asset to church planting, church planters and for Lead Pastors as they seek to develop church planters among their men.
The only pushback I receive about requiring a formal assessment to determine the readiness of a man to plant a church is the viewpoint that it is not consistent with Scripture. I agree that God uses the foolish to shame the wise. Notice a common thread throughout the following verses:
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
The purpose of an assessment is to help a man determine if God chose him for this unique purpose. The most loving thing an assessment team can do is to disapprove a man who is not called, ready or qualified biblically to plant a church. The assessors act, not as judges, but as shepherds to their souls.
To be assessed by Acts 29:
Other church planting assessment centers and pre-assessments to consider (alphabetically):