Church Planter Assessment
As a first step in the assessment process, we suggest potential planters take an online pre-assessment. LifeWay Research has developed a very sophisticated tool that can inform a planter of aptitude and readiness, and we have partnered with them to provide it at a cost of $29 (originally $89).
Visit the Pre-Assessment website (opens in new tab).
The Church Planter Assessment Center is an intensive four-day event during which ministers and spouses are observed and evaluated to determine the appropriateness of a specific minister to serve as the founding pastor of a new church. It is not an evaluation of a person’s qualifications for ministry in an existing church. It is essential that married couples attend together if at all possible.
The assessment experience includes:
- In-depth personality analysis
- Self-discovery of individual strengths and weakness
- Private interviews
- Sermon presentations
- Strategy development experience
- Worship and inspiration
- Fellowship and network-building
Persons who come to an Assessment Center will receive one of the following recommendations:
- Unconditional approval as a qualified new church leader/pastor
- Conditional approval based upon certain factors, like context, training, etc.
- Deferred for at least two years before reconsideration.
- Not recommended to begin a new church.
How much does it cost for me and my spouse to attend?
The cost is $500 per couple, or $750 for non-Nazarenes. This includes the assessment, materials, housing, and all meals.
When and where are these Assessment Centers held?
The Assessment Centers are held periodically throughout various parts of the United States and at various times of the year. Please see our Events Calendar for upcoming assessments.
New churches that have been started with Assessment Center identified leadership have become much stronger churches than new congregations that have not used the Assessment Center selection process.
What does it take to be an effective church planter? Charles Ridley conducted a study of church planters in the United States and Canada. His subjects in the study represented 13 Protestant denominations. Based upon his research and subsequent field testing, he developed a list of 13 prominent performance characteristics. For over a decade, these characteristics have been used to select church planters.
The ideal new church leader is one who possesses the following qualities:
- Visionary Capacity: Ability to project a vision into the future, persuasively motivate people toward that vision, and bring it into reality.
- Intrinsically Motivated: Approaches ministry as a self-starter and commits to excellence through long and hard work.
- Creates Ownership of Ministry: Instills in people a sense of personal responsibility for the growth and success of ministry and trains leaders to reproduce leaders.
- Relates to the Unchurched: Ability to develop rapport, break through barriers, and encourage unchurched people to examine themselves and commit to a walk with God and lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Spousal Cooperation: Creating a workable partnership that agrees on ministry priorities, each partner's role and involvement in ministry, and the integration of ministry with family life.
- Effectively Builds Relationships: Takes the initiative in getting to know people and deepening relationships as a basis for more effective ministry.
- Committed to Church Growth: Values church growth as a method for building more and better disciples; strives to achieve numerical growth within the context of spiritual and relational growth.
- Responsive to the Community: Adapts the ministry to the culture and needs of local residents while seeking to engage community issues and concerns.
- Utilizes Giftedness of Others: Equips and releases people to do ministry according to their spiritual gifts.
- Flexible and Adaptable: Ability to adjust to change and ambiguity, shift priorities when necessary, and handle multiple tasks at once.
- Builds Group Cohesiveness: Enables the group to work collaboratively toward a common goal and skillfully handle divisive elements into positive resolutions.
- Demonstrates Resilience: Ability to sustain oneself emotionally and physically through setbacks, losses, disappointments, and failures.
- Exercises Faith: Demonstrates how one's convictions are translated into personal and ministry decisions and possesses a vital spirituality.
An increasing number of church planter candidates in the USA/Canada want and need assessment, and we aren't able to do them all. We are decentralizing the assessment process by certifying assessors to conduct assessment centers at the district or local level.
As we've traveled around the region speaking and training, we've sensed a renewed passion to start new churches. New churches require new church planters, and some of those planters are going to be assessed! God is stirring the hearts of Nazarenes, and our office can't be the bottleneck.
We are now offering Certified Assessor training on how to conduct Church Planter Assessment Centers. These trainings will be attached to the normally scheduled assessment centers. There is no cost associated with the training, but we're asking assessors-in-training to pay for transportation, lodging, and meals. These costs will obviously vary site to site.
Assessors-in-training will learn:
- The 13 characteristics of a new church leader
- How to conduct in-depth interviews
- How to facilitate each of the activites and projects that candidates undergo
- Space and location requirements
Our Events Calendar will show upcoming assessments, and those assessments that will contains assessor training.
Please view our Events Calendar to find upcoming Church Planters Assessment Centers.