DEL CITY—Ensuring the success of new missional churches is a priority for the Church Planting Group of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO). Assessing potential church planters is a vital tool in the church planting strategy. The third Church Planting Assessment Center was held May 8 – 11 at Del City, First Southern. The Assessment Center provides feedback and evaluation toward the establishment of new missional churches and the deployment of emergent leaders.
The center’s objectives are to accurately assess the ability of a couple to effectively start a new church and to provide candidates the opportunity for feedback on ministry and church planting strengths and weaknesses. The center also provides a recruiting platform for potential planters. In turn, assessors gain the tools and motivation to be active supporters of the church planting process in the state.
Working alongside experts with Converge Worldwide and Strategic Team-Makers, Inc., the four-day assessment center is staffed by the Church Planting Group and multiple trained assessors. Church planting candidates are assessed to 16 building blocks. Based on research and the development of “Charles Ridley’s 13 factors for Successful Church Planters,” this work has become foundational for church planting assessment centers. The blocks are the capacities and skills needed by a point person in a church plant. Some of these blocks include: relationship with God, personal integrity, evangelism, public ministry skills and the ability to gather and motivate others.
Scott Morie, director of missions in Cimarron Baptist Association served as an assessor. Morie stated, “This is an extremely valuable tool. Not only does it ensure good stewardship of missions money but it helps evaluate prospective church planters and families. The thorough process is fulfilling for both the candidates and the assessors.”
At the close of the center, each candidate and spouse receive results along with a written report containing recommendations, affirmations, strengths and growth areas.
Jimmy Kinnaird, church planting specialist for the BGCO stated, “Our assessment process for church planter candidates and their spouses is more about self-awareness and discovery than anything else. God has given each Christ-follower a unique combination of giftedness, personality, ability and experience. For some, this can make them excellent church planters with the goal of making disciples. I believe there are more out there. I pray for God to open their eyes to see the fields white unto harvest.”
Those considering becoming part of the church planting movement can take the first step by taking the free, confidential self-assessment at OklahomaChurchPlanting.com/Profile. For more information call 405/942-3800 Ext. 4389.