16 Building Blocks Necessary for Planting a Church, Part 6

Glenn Herschberger

Executive Director of Church Planting, Converge Great Lakes

  • Church planting & multiplication

We continue with this series looking at the study Dr. Charles Ridley conducted as he addressed church planters in the United States and Canada several years ago. Based on his research and subsequent field testing, he developed a list of characteristics that define effective church planters. Why do we think church planting assessment is important? First, it makes us good stewards of God's resources. We do have human resources within our churches, and we can identify them and raise them up for ministry. Second, it provides feedback for ongoing coaching to that potential candidate. My philosophy is to send a potential candidate to assessment early in their developmental journey in order to get tangible data on their strengths and growth areas.
I believe every church should begin the process of developing the 16 characteristics of an effective church planter (as listed here) in their ministry through effective discipleship. We need to develop a pipeline and identify potential planters and leaders within the local church to reach an entire generation of unchurched individuals. 
Blocks 1 -5 are necessary for any ministry role as well as for Church Planting. Blocks 6-16 are specifically needed to be a Church Planter equipped to plant a new church. Over the years, these characteristics have been used to select church planters during the Church Planter Assessment Center. In this article I will be addressing building blocks numbers ten and eleven, Public Ministry Skills and Enthusiasm/ Energy.
In addressing these blocks, it's important that we develop these areas through mentoring and coaching. But a successful church planter going through the assessment process will be rated strongly if these areas are evident.
Building block #10 is the Public Ministry Skills which is addressed during the 4 day church-planting assessment center. A church planter candidate will be assessed on his ability to preach the Word with powerful clarity and passion. We observe if the candidate exhibits the Holy Spirit's power and authority. Can this candidate be flexible in different situations with insightful exegesis? Does he grab and hold an audience's attention as he opens with Scripture and applies it. Is it evident that he has well-developed skills in preaching and presenting publicly? Another area that is assessed during his public preaching skills is the use of ideas and illustrations to make his point.
Building block #11 is Enthusiasm and Energy. Is this candidate filled with energy and enthusiasm? Does he speak with passion and conviction? As we look at other candidates being assessed, does he catch their enthusiasm? We are also looking at if he is optimistic about the future. During the group exercises, can we, the Assessors, see him motivate those around him to new actions or next steps. We also want to see if he speaks with conviction and maintains a positive attitude under stress.
The most important thing we can do in our churches is to build a culture of challenging our people to a life of ministry. Being a pastor, missionary or church leader is a noble calling and we desire to help our people discover God's unique call and dream in those areas.
As church leaders ask yourself these questions of potential church planting candidates:
  1. Would you join the candidate's core group?
  2. Would you support the candidate financially?
  3. Would you send your friends or family to the church plant?
  4. What are the building blocks that are present in the candidate?
  5. What are the building blocks that are not present in the candidate?
As I close, will you join me in praying One-in-21? Can we pray for the Lord to raise up one church planter from our congregations, one missionary, and one new church plant in the year 2021. We are still on mission with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can do this as the Lord leads.

Glenn Herschberger, Executive Director of Church Planting, Converge Great Lakes

Glenn Herschberger planted his first church, Real Hope Community Church, in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, in 1999. He and his wife, Susan, then served as Converge missionaries in Panama City, Panama, where they planted LifeBridge International Church in 2012. Glenn was the director of Mobilization for Converge in Orlando before being asked to lead the church planting movement for Converge Great Lakes. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin. He is also a graduate of the Center for Excellence in Congregational Leadership and received his master’s degree in biblical counseling from Luther Rice Seminary.

Additional articles by Glenn Herschberger