20 Questions for a Potential Church Planter

As we prepare for the planting of Grace Hills, we’re praying for God to bring together an entire team of people who feel called together for the purpose of seeing a new church born. A few will be seasoned believers with various gifts and abilities to contribute to this new community. As we hear from people who are interested in being a part of things, we’re asking them to pray about whether God has called them, shaped them, and prepared them for this task.

Today, I discovered a great article by Scott Thomas (Director of Acts 29 Network) in which he lists 20 characteristics of a church planter and begins with these 20 questions as a kind of self-assessment. They target the primary planting Pastor who will be preaching, but at least 17 or 18 are applicable to the rest of the team as well.

1. Am I a Christian? (John 3:16)

2. Am I passionately in love with Jesus and is He the Lord of every area of my life? (Personal spiritual dynamics is the second most important area)

3. Do I believe His word and does it affect my life deeply?

4. Am I Spirit-filled, Spirit-directed, Spirit-led and Spirit-controlled? (Acts 1:8)

5. Am I qualified as an Elder? (1 Timothy, Titus)

6. Do I love the local church as the expression of a gospel community on mission? (Matthew 28:18-20)

7. Am I a missionary to the city? Am I sent for the advancement of the gospel in the city (John 20:21)?

8. Do I have a clear vision for this new work? (Nehemiah 1:3, 4; 2:11-18)

9. Am I willing to pour myself out in obedience to the vision? (Phil. 2; Romans 6)

10. Am I healthy? Physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, relationally, maritally

11. Am I the kind of leader many people will follow? Have I served as a church leader successfully? (1 Tim. 5:22; 3:6)

12. Can I preach effectively?

13. Can I guard the doctrinal door with Biblical clarity and tenacious confidence?

14. Can I architect a new work with entrepreneurial skill?

15. Am I called to plant a church at this time and in this place? (Acts 17:26; 1 Peter 5:2)

16. Have my church leaders commended me for this calling? (Acts 11:22-26; 13:1-4; 16:1-2)

17. Am I a hard worker? Am I persevering? (2 Thes. 3:10; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 2 Tim. 2:3-4; 2:5; 2:6)

18. Am I adaptable to new people, places and concepts?

19. Can I raise the funds needed for my family’s needs? (1 Tim. 5:8)

20. Am I humble enough to learn from others—particularly from those who have gone ahead of me in different areas?

Scott also offers a lengthy expansion of each question with some great conclusions and applications.

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About the Author

I'm Brandon. I'm the Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church in Northwest Arkansas, which my wife, Angie, and I planted in January of 2012. I previously served as a Pastor at Saddleback Church and still manage Pastor Rick Warren's online, global ministry to pastors, Pastors.com. I also lead a blog about blogging, a blog about social media, and a blog about men's issues. And I've written a book - Rewired, which challenges the church to adopt social media to spread the good news about Jesus. I sometimes take on church website design projects and I coach pastors and leaders as well. I'd love to hear from you!
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