Admittedly, this is no easy question to answer for any Pastor. How do you know if you are called, and for that matter, ready, to be a church planter? There are a couple of things that can help a pastor discern the answer to this very important question. 

Step 1 – Your calling

The fact that you are asking yourself the question says that the Holy Spirit is doing something in your heart for you to consider being a Church Planter. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” As we serve Jesus He plants seeds of desire in our hearts pulling us toward His will and calling on our lives. The first step is asking yourself, is this something that I want to do? If it is, move on to step #2.

Step 2 – As yourself the following questions:

Is leading a Church Plant a fit for who God made me to be? Do I have what it takes to raise a church up out of the culture? Am I a leader? This should be fairly easy to answer, look at your current situation as well as the past, do you have a track record of leadership? Do you feel drawn toward it? Do you naturally and voluntarily step into leadership roles? Finally, do people follow you? If so, you are probably a leader, and it takes a leader to successfully raise a new church up from the culture.

Step 3 – Am I ready to plant a church?

This is a more complicated question, but a very important one to answer. GLI has an assessment tool called Church Planter Profile (CPP)

The site was developed to help you and your organization answer this very question. CPP has two parts, an initial assessment made up of 85 questions comparing your background and experience with a test group of successful church planters in the areas of Ministry Experience, Church Planting Experience, Entrepreneurial Leadership and Relational Evangelism. We are looking for benchmark scores of 75% across the first 3 areas and 70% in the area of Relational Evangelism. If you fall below the benchmark scores you receive a list of recommendations to help you bolster your experience level. If you meet the benchmarks, it is recommended you take the 2nd part of the assessment which include four additional assessments:

  • Golden Personality Profile™
  • Portrait Predictor™
  • Spiritual Gifts Assessment
  • Online 360 Evaluation
  • Also add your StrengthsFinder™ results.

The full assessment provides the planter with the following additional tools that are very helpful for a future Church planter.

  • Personalized coaching guides that highlight next steps preparation for church planting.
  • Results of individual assessments in PDF format, which can be saved or sent to someone, you are working with.
  • A profile package including all reports and files in a zipped archive which may be saved or sent.
  • Access to forms provided by your organization that can be uploaded for inclusion in the profile package.

These resources are meant to help you discern when you are ready to start a church.

4th – What do those who know you best think about you planting a Church?

This can be a little tricky because many pastors and christians are not supportive of church planting. With that said, your wife, close friends, mentors and ministry partners can have great insight and help you discern what God is speaking to you. There is no substitute for getting extended time alone with God in prayer and fasting and seeking Him to direct your life and show you the path before you.

How do I know if I am called to be a church planter, the truth is its going to be a process of discernment to answer the question, and that process begins with asking yourself “do I want to be a church planter?”