If you’re feeling called to be a church planter, you should have vision and be able to convince people to buy into it, according to an assessment used by the Baptist State Convention (BSC) when considering whether to support a potential planter.
Sixteen categories in the assessment help BSC officials determine the candidate’s likelihood of success.
The BSC also gives the assessment to the wives of potential church planters.
Visioning capacity determines if the candidate can think about the future, develop a plan of action and carry it out.
Church planters should also be able to create ownership of ministry, according to the assessment.
BSC leaders try “to determine if the potential leader has a strong desire to include others in ministry activity and has the ability to get people to buy into his vision,” the assessment says.
Ken Tilley, church planter and pastor of CrossLink Community in Mebane, calls that the WOO factor, the ability to “win others over.” The document also says the church planter needs to be “intrinsically motivated.”
BSC officials seek to find out if he is committed to excellence and an ability to persist despite adversity.
They also try to measure the candidate’s energy and stamina.
Church planting is not a task for someone not willing to “work hard and smart,” according to Tilley, who went through the evaluation process and now leads a church of more than 400.
“You have to be driven. You really have to be a go getter.
“If you’re looking for an easy road, this is not it; you probably ought to go sell vacuum cleaners.”
Other categories in the assessment are:
- Relating to the unchurched.
BSC leaders want to know if the potential church planter can connect with people who do not attend church and if making such connections is a part of his ministry plan.
They also look to see if the person knows people outside the faith and seeks to “restore them to a right relationship with God.”
- A cooperative and supportive spouse.
- Building relationships; can you connect with people and be vulnerable with them?
- Is the candidate committed to church health and does he believe church growth is a theological principle?
- Responsive to community.
The potential church planter should be able to identify and assess the needs of the community.
- Using the gifts of others.
BSC leaders try to determine if the candidate can assess someone’s giftedness and develop a plan based on matching those gifts with ministry needs and opportunities.
- Flexible and adaptable.
The church planter has to be able to adapt and handle change and make tough decisions.
- Building a cohesive group.
The candidate should be able to bring people together and get them involved in meaningful ministry.
BSC officials want to know if the potential church planter can go through setbacks without feeling defeated.
They also look at how he handled previous disappointments.
- Exercising faith.
BSC leaders talk to the candidate about his calling and how it relates to church planting. They also discuss waiting on God on specific prayer requests.
- Adapting to other cultures.
- Financial responsibility.
How does the potential church planter manage resources and does he have a healthy, biblical view of stewardship?
- Team player.
The candidate should be able to work in an environment that values team work, share responsibility and empower others to serve.
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