We encourage you to take the Initial Screening Assessment (ISA). The ISA is a free online resource that measures your readiness for church planting.

To take the ISA create an account at cmi.churchplanterprofiles.com. Don’t be discouraged if you get a low score the first time you take the assessment. That just means that there are areas where you have room to grow and develop.

Using your ISA results as a guide, here are six next steps you can take to prepare for church planting.

1. Get more experience.

Connect with a church plant in your area and ask if there are ways you can help out with ministry.

2. Read. Create a church planting reading list.

We suggest:

Planting Missional Churches, by Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im

Kingdom First: Starting Churches that Shape Movements, by Jeff Christopherson and Mac Lake

Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church, by Reggie McNeal

The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church, by Alan Hirsch

Building a Discipling Culture, by Mike Breen

Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life, by Jeff Vanderstelt

Family on Mission, by Sally and Mike Breen

DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples, by Jim Putman, Bobby Harrington, and Robert Coleman

3. Attend a church planting conference.

Exponential (exponential.org), Saturate (saturatetheworld.com/events), and Verge (www.vergenetwork.org/regionals) hold conferences in multiple regions. Find one near you.

4. Get trained.

In many regions the RCA offers Multiply training to equip new church planters for fruitful ministry. If Multiply training isn’t available in your area, we can help you find another local option.

5. Get coached.

Having a coach who can help you set and achieve goals can be very helpful. Let us know if you are interested in coaching, and we will give you a list of qualified coaches to contact.

6. Connect with us. RCA Church Multiplication is here to help you!

Randy Weener, coordinator of Church Multiplication, rweener@rca.org

Tim Vink, senior Church Multiplication catalyst, tvink@rca.org

Mike Hayes, Church Multiplication catalyst, mhayes@rca.org

Church Multiplication, multiply@rca.org

Areas of Church Planter Readiness

1. Church planting experience

There’s no substitute for firsthand experience in church planting. The Church Multiplication office can help you find church plants in your area where you can volunteer and inquire about internships.

2. Entrepreneurial leadership

Church planting is a little like starting a business—you have to build the church from the ground up. To do this, church planters need to be self-starters with visionary leadership skills. A strong church planter will often have past experience initiating new projects and ministries.

3. Ministry experience

It is important to have ministry experience in a church setting, whether it is a church plant or not. If there is not a church plant near you where you can gain experience, get involved at an organized church in a way that engages the skills you need for church planting. For example, you could share your faith regularly with someone who is far from God, start a small group, or get involved in the church’s outreach.

4. Relational evangelism

Relational evangelism is being able to engage others in conversation about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. As a church planter, you need to be able to lead others to faith in Christ in a way that is authentic and contextual.

Recommended reading: Organic Outreach for Ordinary People, by Kevin Harney