The Church Planter EQ Assessment

Our world is inundated with online surveys and personality profile tests that evaluate everything from leadership capacity to emotional intelligence. My family and I recently took a modern version of the Myers-Briggs personality tool called “16 Personalities.” This particular website boasts, “Take our Personality Test and get a ‘freakishly accurate’ description of who you are and why you do things the way you do.” To our amazement, it accurately identified each member of our family, including our ten-year-old daughter! The test identified her as an ENTJ, which are “Bold, imaginative and strong-willed leaders, always finding a way—or making one.” If you knew my daughter Anna Belle, you would know that this is a very accurate assessment of her personality. You should try taking one of these assessments at some point just to see the results! For example, see

Regarding church planting, there are a variety of personal assessments that are designed to help assess your readiness for church planting. Assessments come in a variety of formats and they help provide potential planters with an initial indicator of their readiness to plant a church. By evaluating different characteristics that are important for potential church planters, these tests offer a valuable lens through which you can evaluate yourself. As you continue to explore the exciting new world of church planting, I would highly recommend taking a church planter assessment test, especially if you plan to be a full-time church planter with funding. Taking an assessment allows you to have tangible evidence of your skillset and calling into this field. 

A church planter assessment presents a thorough and comprehensive process for the evaluation and assessment of potential church planters and it is essential to a strategy for planting healthy churches. It would be presumptuous, to say the least, to claim that any assessment could proclaim who God can and cannot use to plant a church. Rather, the assessment process is meant to facilitate the discernment of the church as to the readiness of a candidate with regard to the skills, knowledge, and fitness that are needed for the task of planting.


What Is EQ? 

I have chosen the EQ model because I believe it to be the best method of creating meaningful reflection. EQ does not refer to our IQ but is another “kind of smart”: our emotional intelligence. This emotional intelligence (EI) (or emotional quotient [EQ]) reflects the capability of individuals to recognize and use their own emotional information to manage and adapt to various environments in order to achieve success. Rather than focusing on your ability to perform tasks, EQ probes the depths of identity to ensure that at your very core, you possess the character, stamina, and adaptability to succeed as a church planter. In the words of Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, “Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.”1 They believe that emotional intelligence affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. According to Bradberry and Greaves, emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.

I believe that there are similar personal and social competencies for church planters. After working with hundreds of church planters for more than a decade, I have helped create an assessment tool to test the EQ of potential church planters. I have designed the Church Planter EQ Assessment to answer the question, “Do I have the emotional intelligence to be a church planter?” The assessment helps give a “snapshot” of your life and ministry experiences in order to help you discover your readiness for church planting. 

Dozens of people have taken the assessment and found it to be a helpful tool as they contemplated their calling to church planting. In the words of one person who recently took the assessment, “The assessment tool was useful to me in identifying areas in which I am strong and confident and then areas I may need to be more committed and devoted to improving. I enjoyed taking this assessment and identifying areas that I needed to improve in and I also feel it affirmed my calling to church planting.”

Through research and evaluation, I have identified eight key factors that are important for individuals to take into consideration when they are evaluating their readiness for starting a new church. The eight factors can be divided into two categories: personal competence and social competence. While there are no magical assessments that automatically guarantee success, this guide is intended to be an initial self-assessment tool that will help you gain a more well-rounded understanding of your potential calling to and readiness for the ministry of church planting. 


Eight Factors

  1. Personal Competence 
  • Personal: Being emotionally, physically, and financially healthy
  • Spiritual: Having a vibrant walk with Christ and daily devotional life
  • Vocational: Having a clear sense of calling 
  • Visional: Seeing a preferred future beyond the present
  1. Social Competence 
  • Relational: Maintaining healthy and supportive relationships
  • Cultural: Understanding culture and context 
  • Missional: Building relationships with unchurched people
  • Adaptable: Being flexible and adaptable to changes and needs


Take the Assessment

Visit to take the Church Planter EQ Assessment to help create a “snapshot” of your life and ministry experiences and to help you discover your readiness for church planting.

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