New Church Planting Assessments Coming Soon
By Rachel Gilmore
Assessing whether someone has high potential as a church planter is a difficult process. Discipleship Ministries and Path 1 are partnering together to research the current assessment practices and to make suggestions or recommendations about assessments moving forward. Please check in regularly with the website to see the results of their diligent work towards the end of 2019.
There are two main types of church plants and the assessments you give a planter depend on the kind of plant they envision.
Two types of church plants
Sunday morning paradigm
Whether you begin by gathering people in small groups or with community events, the expectation is that a Sunday morning worship service will "launch" at some point and will be a driving force in the life of this new faith community. Plans will be made to hire staff or find volunteers to assist with the Sunday morning experience like a worship leader, children's minister, hospitality teams, and setup/breakdown teams. Whether it is a multi-site, parachute drop, or restart model, Sunday mornings are key to the life of this new plant.
Path 1’s upcoming church planter assessment quiz will serve as a starting point to further the discussion about church planting.
Other conferences find the Lifeway and DISC inventory tests to be helpful in understanding the gifts of the potential planter.
There are a variety of new faith communities that could fall under the flexible paradigm. From dinner church to "Messy Church" or a Sunday evening service in the native tongue of the immigrant community that gathers in a traditional church building, these are plants that are organized around a common experience or identity without a Sunday morning worship emphasis.
When they gather, it is sacred space and it is their worship service, but it doesn't fit the traditional notion of a church plant and might be a smaller gathering with pastoral leadership that is either laity or a bi-vocational pastor. Using Strengthsfinder to help discern the gifts of the leader and the gifts that will be needed by other team leaders in this community can be a helpful tool, along with the Enneagram.
Enneagram and Strengthsfinder are not assessments to discern IF someone should start an out-of-the-box faith community, rather they are tools to help the leader find balance, strength, and identity as they shape this new community and will help the developer understand the kind of faith expression that might be birthed based on the gifts of the leader.
Rachel Gilmore is the Director of Recruiting, Assessing & Training for Church Planting with Path 1. She stays away from foliage but loves to plant other things like churches, preschools, and ideas in the minds of those looking for innovation and inspiration in the church.