Assessing New Church Planters

Church planting can be an attractive opportunity for entrepreneurial leaders and those wishing to start churches without the baggage and limitations of beginning ministry on staff at an existing church. But many find themselves encountering the commonly-repeated statistic that 80 percent of church plants fail in the first year.

In response to the growing interest in new church planting, LifeWay Research unveiled an online Church Planter Candidate Assessment (CPCA) during the Expontential Conference in Orlando. Fla. LifeWay worked with 11 denominations and church-planting networks to develop the tool to aid them—and other organizations—in evaluating strengths and weaknesses of candidates who desire to establish new churches.

The CPCA is built on more than 20 scales that each measure a specific church-planter characteristic. The scales reveal strengths and weaknesses that organizations can use for evaluating candidates in the church-planter assessment process. The assessment, which costs $88, may be taken independently or in connection with denominations or church-planting networks. Those taking the assessment may elect to have their results sent directly to the network or denomination of their choice.

"The Assemblies of God has looked for an effective tool to help potential planters consider their call early on in their planting journey,” said Steve Pike, director of the Assemblies of God Church Multiplication Network. “This tool is what we've been looking for."

Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research, notes that CPCA is not a “stand-alone test” for a candidate’s ability to succeed on the field and states that "the intention for the CPCA is to serve as a solid ‘initial indicator’—testing for measurable characteristics found in successful church planters.”{jcomments on}

— LifeWay Research

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