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How Do I Confirm My Call to Plant? 12 Potential Confirmation Questions from Mark Driscoll

The following is from Acts 29 Co-Founder Mark Driscoll's teaching "The Calling of a Church Planter." After outlining the necessity of a calling on the life of a church planter, he presented twelve questions to ask in confirming the call. We are thrilled to have him preach on the Gospel and Family at the San Jose Boot Camp on June 3.

Listen to the full audio | Get the notes in PDF

Here's an audio segment of Driscoll explaining the calling and a need for confirmation:

Calling Confirmation Questions 

1. Is the Holy Spirit out ahead of you planting the church? You don’t plant a church for God, you plant a church with God. If money, people, and a place start showing up as you’re preparing to plant, that is potential evidence that the Holy Spirit is out ahead of you. (Acts 1)

2. Is your church planting call obvious to other godly leaders?

3. Has God confirmed your church plant by showing up in miraculous (big, supernatural, no-other-way-to-explain-it) ways? In Acts 3 and 4, Peter heals a man, preaches, and then thousands of people get saved.

4. Are you reaching lost people? The goal of church plants is the salvation of lost people. If you’re not doing this, don’t plant a church. If you want to be a shepherd, there are plenty of existing flocks in need. (Acts 8:5-9)

5. Has Jesus showed up and told you to plant? (Acts 9)

6. Has God told you to plant through a vision? In Acts 10 and 11, Cornelius and Peter both have a vision: Peter is called and Cornelius welcomes him.

7. Has God providentially relocated you to plant? In Acts 11:19-21, believers scatter due to prosecution and plant a church where they resettle.

8. Is God calling you to plant because you’re not totally necessary at your current church? If you’re in a church with good leaders that will be fine without you on their team, God may be calling you to relocate to a place where you can use your gifts and resources to their full capacity. (Acts 13)

9. Is God calling you to plant because you’re currently wasting your time in a toxic place? (Acts 14)

10. Are you called to be a catalytic church planter or to plant a church-planting center? In Acts 14, Paul goes from one city to the next planting churches and then sends in other men to establish elders whereas James (Jesus’ brother) plants a church in Jerusalem and stays there, sending other men out.

11. Has God called you to plant by giving you a deep burden for a city or people? (Acts 17:16)

12. Has God called you to plant by giving you a core group? (Acts 18:7-8)

Come hear Mark Driscoll, D.A. Carson, Matt Chandler, Scott Thomas, and Jeff Vanderstelt speak in San Jose on June 3-4.



on May 5, 2011 :: 2:17 pm

Two questions...

1) What if you're trying to confirm a calling that you haven't yet started to pursue? Many of these have to do with already having begun a church plant.

2) How do these relate to the various church planting assessment tests that are out there? What if these (biblical) criteria say yes but the tests say no?


on Mar 28, 2014 :: 10:46 am

I'd really like to hear an answer to the two questions. I think they are good ones. What if you have an energy and excitement when you hear about church planting, but have not had the experience or answer yes to all the questions above?


Pastor Mark Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in Seattle in the fall of 1996, which has grown to over 13,000 people including new sites in New Mexico and California. He co-founded the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, with three hundred churches in the U.S. and internationally, and is founder of The Resurgence.

Outreach magazine has recognized Mars Hill Church as the ninth most innovative and fifteenth fastest-growing church in America. Outreach magazine has also ranked Mars Hill Church number two of America's top multiplying (church-planting) churches. The Church Report has recognized Pastor Mark as the twenty-second most influential pastor in America. His sermons are downloaded more than a million times a year and he has been recognized by Christianity Today, Inc., as one of the most influential young preachers in America. Seattle magazine has named Pastor Mark as one of the twenty-five most powerful people in Seattle.

Media coverage on Pastor Mark and Mars Hill varies from National Public Radio to Mother Jones magazine, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Blender music magazine, Outreach magazine, Preaching Today, and Leadership magazine to ABC Television and the 700 Club.

His writing includes the books The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out and Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church, Vintage Jesus, Death by Love, and Vintage Church. He also contributed to the book Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, and made a chapter contribution to the book Above All Earthly Powers, edited by Dr. John Piper.

Most enjoyably, Mark and his high school sweetheart, Grace, enjoy raising their three sons and two daughters. You can read his full bio here.