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Church Planting Tutorial: 2. Pre-Assessment

Assessment is the process of discerning whether a potential church planter is called to plant a church and whether the person is right for a specific new work.  In this tutorial, we separate assessments into two primary categories: pre-assessment (self-assessment) and a formal assessment (assessment by an independent group or organization).

[bctt tweet=”Great tools for pre-assessment: Know thyself!”]

Pre-assessment (self-assessment) typically includes the completion of a series of written “survey instruments” and tests (e.g. Myers Briggs, DISC personality profile, and spiritual gifts profile).   Additionally, most pre-assessments include a test of a potential planter against Dr Charles Ridley’s 13 key characteristics for church planters.

Here’s an Assessment Process video from Dr. Greg Wiens, Healthy Growing Churches, that gives you an important perspective on assessment tools as well as some advice on how to process the results.


The DISC is intended to help you appreciate your preferred role on a team as you work to accomplish tasks. DISC measures four factors of how you behave on a team:

  1. D: indicates how you approach a task or problem. A high D will be an initiator and attack problems; even create them if everything is too calm! A low D will deal with problems and tasks as they come, but not seek them out. A middle D could respond contextually depending on the situation.
  2. I: indicates how you approach new people or contacts. A high I will enjoy and gain energy from new people, and therefore seek them out. Whereas a low I will find meeting new people to take energy and often needs some alone time after meeting a bunch of new people. A middle I will find meeting new people depends on the situation.
  3. S: indicates how you approach pace. A high S desires a steady and stable pace; and will seek out environments that produce stability. Whereas a low S likes variety and will attempt to create variety in all forms of their behavior. A middle S would find their desire for pace contextual.
  4. C: indicates how you approach rules and procedures. A high C will follow rules and maintain details as critical. A low C will follow rules, unless there is some reason to disregard them, and will then do so quickly. Again, a middle C would find their adherence to details and rules situational.

This instrument is quick and easy to take. The intent is to give you a basic idea of where you fall in each of these areas. It is not intended to replace more elaborate and expensive instruments…it is simply a place to begin and to promote discussion within teams. It is necessary to purchase much more psychometrically sound instruments to make decisions of staffing and resourcing teams.

Spiritual Gifts Details

The Spiritual Gifts assessment is intended to identify your inner passions and motivators outlined in the New Testament (Ephesians 4, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, 1 Peter 4) as Spiritual Gifts. These giftings are not the same as your calling, however they can significantly impact your calling. For instance, a leader can have any number of the different gifts identified in these four passages, however, the way they lead will be dramatically influenced by their gifts. The best way to determine if you have a gift is to use it in the context of the church. This instrument is a great place to begin to explore areas of potential gifts.

This is a self-report instrument, meaning that you are being asked to report on your own desires and passions. At times it may be helpful to gain the insight of a friend who has seen you in various situations. There are resources given which describe the Biblical basis of each gift and possible indicators and expressions of each gift for this reason.

You Are Wonderfully Made

The DISC and Spiritual Gifts Assessments each take a snapshot of how you are wired. Using both of these instruments (as well as others) can be helpful in discovering how you are wonderfully and fearfully made. God doesn’t make any mistakes, and he put you together in a unique and gifted manner…that is his promise (Psalm 139:13-18)

Selected Links to Assessment Tools

Milestone: Affirming the Call.