The 5 P’s of Church Planting

by | Feb 21, 2022 | Church Leadership, Church Planting

What should one look for in the assessment process for a church planter?

Are there any keys to discovering who should start a church from scratch and who may not have the needed characteristics or qualifications to start a church?

When Gary Kendall and I founded Church Multiplication Association, it became clear to us that identifying the right leader was the key to a successful church plant.

There are many different kinds of church plants, but none are thriving without the right leadership. Though every church planting organization agrees on the fact that we must find the right person to plant the church, it has been my observation that not many organizations are very specific about what they are looking for in the life of a church planter.

After planting Mountain Park Community Church in 1987 in Phoenix Arizona, and having been involved in 82 other church plants, I am convinced that there are five characteristics/qualities to look for in the assessment process.

I simplify it by using five P’s.


The first P is personality.

I admit I am a Myers-Briggs junkie. I am looking for an intuitive feeler (NF) or an intuitive thinker (NT). David Keirsey, author of Please Understand Me is the only person I know that teaches the Myers Briggs from the core out. Simply stated there are four cores in the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory. NT’s and NF’s are paradigm changers and the highest visionaries.


The second P, his personal leadership style.

I use the DISC to discover the top leadership styles. The high D have been the most successful church planters combined with the NT and NF. Regarding spiritual gifts: In my experience with 82 planters, all of the most fruitful church planters had leadership as one of their top three gifts.


The third P is pain.

The most successful church planters have gone through great pain and experience healing from God. These leaders are then able to articulate their healing from the emotional or physical pain.


The fourth P is Preaching.

The church planter must have an ability to communicate to the unchurched and broken people. Simply stated, preaching is everything in a church plant.


The final P is persistence.

The church planter who is successful must go to a city and stay and be persistent. I know no successful church planter that hasn’t possessed all 5P’s.


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