Church Planter Assessments

Dr. Charles Ridley, an occupational psychologist, upon interviewing 100 church planters, determined that thirteen key qualities were needed for an individual to be an effective church planter. These were qualities that needed to be clearly identified by past performance in the candidate. The principle is, “Past performance is an effective indicator of immediate future action.”

The church planting candidate who demonstrates a high level of effective past experience in the areas represented by these thirteen qualities can anticipate a high level of effectiveness as a church planter. If the church planting candidate has not demonstrated the effective application of these qualities in past experiences, effectiveness in the immediate church planting project cannot be anticipated. PAST PERFORMANCE of the candidate is the KEY, NOT the verbalized “DESIRE” of the candidate.

It is important to note that these qualities are specifically focused on the role of the lead church planter. A person in ministry can rate lower in these areas and still be effective in another area of ministry. The desire is to match the qualities needed to accomplish a ministry task with the demonstrated abilities of an individual desiring to serve the Lord in ministry.

In the years since this assessment by interview process has been put into action, an effective church planting rate of 85% has been established.

I was assessed by Dr. Ridley in 1989 as I was finishing my last year in seminary. I found the assessment to be an incredible helpful tool as I prepared to start a church. When he recommended me as a church planter, I was so excited. His affirmation was not only a blessing to me, but useful to my denominational leaders who required an assessment for all church planters. If I had not passed the assessment, they would not have sponsored the church plant.

That’s one of the benefits of church planter assessments. The interview focuses entirely on past behavior. By examining your past behavior in depth, the report has greater predictability.

Assessments are essentially about biblical stewardship. By investing initial time and money for an assessment of a potential church planter, it reduces the risk that he will be effective in starting a new church.

About ten years ago, I was trained as an assessor and have enjoyed assessing dozens of church planters. Over the past several years, my wife and I have joined forces to provide assessments for individuals from a variety of churches and denominations. There are many good organizations that provide church planter assessments. If you are a church planter wanting to be assessed, or a denominational leader or pastor needing to assess a church planter, please contact us.

For more information or to schedule an assessment, click here.

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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