What I look for in a Church Planter – Part 1 – Guest Blogger Steve Stroope, Author of Tribal Church

This week I’ve asked author and my mentor, Steve Stroope, to share some thoughts from his new book, Tribal Church, about what he looks for in a church planter (and why).

Steve pastors the 10,000+ member Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, TX, and they’ve supported dozens of new church plants over the years (including The Journey).  He’s been an invaluable resource to me in starting and leading The Journey. I’m sure it won’t take you long to see why…

Thanks Nelson – let’s jump right in.  Here’s the first characteristic I look for in a church planter:

The Church Planter should be a Strong Leader.

One look at a group of successful church planters will demonstrate quickly that there’s tremendous diversity in the men that God chooses to use – different talents, skills and backgrounds.

But there is one constant: each is a strong leader.

Everything it takes to start a church requires leadership – building a launch team, raising funds, teaching, casting vision… everything!

So how can you tell if someone has the required skills?  Well, we use the D.I.S.C. personality profile to get some insight into how a potential planter is wired.

This time-tested tool helps understand why people do what they do by ranking each person in the categories of Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.

With very few exceptions, we have learned over the years that a strong D.I. profile is the best fit for a planter, with the second best being a similar I.D. profile.

The D.I.S.C. profile is a personality test, and to help further assess potential planters, we also use the Strengths Finder 2.0 test (from Tom Rath’s book by the same name), which measures a person’s natural strengths.

Of the thirty-four possible strengths in that test, we’ve found that a successful planter needs to have at least two of what I would call “hard strengths.”

Hard strengths would be one of the following: Maximizer, Strategic, Competition, Arranger, Command, Activator, Responsibility, Woo and Achiever.

Now, there’s no 100% effective process for identifying and assessing those who are interested in planting a new church, but I’ve found that these two tools (the D.I.S.C. and Strengths Finder) can save you from planting – or encouraging someone else to plant – when they’re not as well equipped to do so.

I hope that helps!

Join me here again tomorrow to continue sharing each of the remaining three characteristics that I look for in a Church Planter.


Thanks Steve!

Be sure and check this blog for the next 3 days as we continue this exciting look at “What to Look for in a Church Planter”


P.S. – In conjunction with these posts from Steve, I am leading a FREE Webinar on the “Top 3 Church Planting Mistakes” next week. There’s no charge to participate, but it will fill-up – so an RSVP is required.

Secure your Spot Today by CLICKING HERE

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyChurch Planting