On the Lookout for Church Planters

Marlan Mincks

Director of Starting

  • Church planting & multiplication

This is a personal invitation for you to come visit a Converge Church Planters Assessment Center (CPAC). If you want to jump start your ability to identify and work with church planters, taking part in an assessment center would be the best way. Besides that, winter is just around the corner and many of our assessments are in warm and sunny locations.

Our next Church Planter’s Assessment Center is October 4-7 at Rock Creek Church in Prosper, Texas and CNC has a Church Planter candidate going through the process. In February when winter is dragging on in the beautiful cold north, we will have a Church Planters Assessment in Orlando. Think about it! That time of the year would be a great time to get some sun and learn how to identify and work with church planters.

Tim Keller said The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for the numerical growth of the body of Christ in any city, and the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else, not crusades, outreach programs, parachurch ministries, growing megachurches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes, will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting.

The first key component to this is God moving in an area and the hearts of people. The second, arguably would be the church planter themselves.

Acts 16:9 says And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” A clear calling is crucial to moving forward to plant a church. A potential planter should test that calling by asking those in authority around them for their view of them as a church planter.

It’s not too hard to call out a movement of God after the fact. It is a harder thing however for humans to call out a church planter before that work has begun.

In the past, we have relied on methods as simple a declaration. “I like them, you like them? I think they can do it. What do you think? Go for it! Hand the planter $100 and a new pair of shoes and tell him to let us know when they built a church. This method has resulted in many church planting failures that we never want to talk about because they are painful for everyone involved, thus they are forgotten.

Converge has one of the oldest Church Planter Assessment Centers. The mission of the Converge CPAC is to develop and support exceptionally equipped church planters and leaders who will start reproducing churches and participate in a global movement of church planting.

We still use a diverse panel of assessors from many areas of life that have varying skill sets and proficiencies to assess a potential planter in the 16 building blocks we believe are essential for a planter to be successful.

All of this comes together in one of three final outcomes for each couples/candidate.

1.    Not Recommended

This is not their sweet spot. They are missing critical blocks and we feel they would struggle to bring the church to existence and viability. They would be better served with another spot on the team rather than the lead planter.

2.    Recommend with Conditions

They have all 16 building blocks, but they need to develop some areas prior to moving forward with the church plant. These could include finances, education or a clear plan for any of the blocks mentioned. A list of strengths, growth areas and conditions are given to the planter.

3.    Recommended

They have all sixteen building blocks, and are ready to plant.

Even with this outcome we recommend a clear calling from God to move forward and a team to support you in the process.

Matthew 16:18 says And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

After leading the assessment process for Converge for many years I can confidently say assessment is the road to a successful church plant. Combine that with the church planter submitting themselves to the process and I believe they have the best chance for success. God will build His church! The process can prepare the planter beyond what they think is possible.

Tim Keller summed up the importance of church planting this way. The only wide scale way to bring in lots of new Christians to the Body of Christ in a permanent way is to plant new churches.

I told someone not too long ago. When you learn what to look for in church planter, you will start to find them everywhere you go. Come take part in a Converge CPAC and before you know it, you will find planters everywhere!

Contact me at for an upcoming assessment you might attend.

Marlan Mincks, Director of Starting

Director of Starting

Additional articles by Marlan Mincks