10 qualifications of a church planter

Ten Church Planter Essential Qualifications

By Pastor Scott Thomas, Acts 29 Director

This is a longer blog than normal, but these are the notes from my talk at Exponential 2009 in an effort to serve those who attended and wanted to engage dialogically in the conversation live.

The Power Point Handout is found here.


Every young man that considers church planting asks the question, Am I a Church Planter? It is the question I asked myself many years ago. It is the question we ask every man who submits himself to our Acts 29 assessment process to be a lead planter in our network. Many times he is depending on our assessment process to confirm his calling.

When we assess church planters in Acts 29, the top five negative conditions identified are in order, Theology, Vision, Family, Calling and Character.

The pushback that I receive about doing assessments is that they are not consistent with Scripture. People become very volatile over this issue. I see the church in Jerusalem and Antioch identifying, equipping and sending men to plant churches.

Acts 11:19-26

  • The Jerusalem church sent Barnabas to Antioch. They didn’t send just any schmuck. It is reported of him, “he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.” (11:24).
  • The first thing Barnabas did was to go get Paul/Saul from Tarsus and take him to Antioch.
  • Barnabas spent the year equipping Paul and doing ministry with him.

Acts 13-16

  • The local church at Antioch, the first called Christians, sent Baranabas and Saul on the first missionary journey. They took John Mark as a young man to equip.
  • The Holy Spirit was central to this process. He called them (13:2), sent them (13:4), filled them (13:9), and directed them (16:6-7)
  • Along the way, they preached in many areas, John Mark returned home and then were persecuted by the Jews. Paul was stoned (14:19), encountered many tribulations (14:22), appointed elders (14:23) and preached, taught and encouraged the disciples (14:27). They faced a theological war (15), had a relationship-ending spat between Barnabas and Paul (15:39) and then the church sent Paul and Silas to strengthen the church (15:40) and they took Timothy (16:1) with them before Paul was imprisoned again (16:19 ff.).

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