Could you be a church planter? What makes a church planter?

Below are some of the attributes or qualities that are often recognised in church planters and pioneers. You can hear them discussed by a group of church planters in this video, ‘Who Plants Churches?’ It is not a profile as such or an exhaustive list but rather an indicator of the type of person that would thrive in a church planting or pioneering environment. Which of these qualities might you see in yourself or in others known to you?


  • A track record of starting new things; has established a pattern of innovation or ‘firsts’ in life and/or ministry.
  • A sense of call to starting a new church or worshipping community.
  • Sense of call to a particular community, culture, or people group.
  • A sense of ‘holy dissatisfaction’ with the current and the need for something new to accomplish God’s mission.
  • A willingness, boldness, and faith to do something untried; ability to visualise a new church or worshipping community, that does not yet exist, through faith.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit – resilient in the face of failure or opposition; curious to explore alternatives. Sees failure as a learning opportunity and step up to the next thing. Persistent.
  • Can courageously take the next step, without the full revelation of the way ahead.



  • Casts a bold vision; leads and influences others into this reality.
  • Leads out of a place of prayer.
  • Envisions and takes others on a journey towards a common purpose.
  • Demonstrates a flair for engaging, enabling, and mobilising others – makes things happen and drives momentum.
  • Generates other leaders; trains and equips others to lead and carry the vision, in order to multiply ministry.
  • Enables others to discover their own call and operate out of their spiritual gifts and abilities.
  • Leads self; maintains own emotional and physical wellbeing through challenging situations. Leads from a place of plenty rather than neglect.
  • Establishes credibility and has the confidence and conviction to make others want to follow.



  • Gathers people and builds team (volunteers and staff) readily; ‘sticky’ person.
  • Comes up with ideas that others are keen to adopt and implement.
  • Resourceful and makes creative and innovative use of the resources available.
  • Makes the ask and raises funds to support initiatives and ministry.



  • Easily builds rapport with people outside the church or on the fringes.
  • Communicates the Christian faith naturally to those outside the church.
  • Helps people come to faith and grow in faith.
  • Effectively builds relationships. Initiates meeting people and deepening relationships as a basis for effective ministry.



  • Identifies and readily responds to missional opportunities.
  • Passionate about the extension and growth of God’s Kingdom; ‘Missio Dei’.
  • Recognises that fruitful mission is directly linked to spiritual practices (prayer, rest, solitude, sabbath etc).
  • Demonstrates rhythms of outreach and withdraw; advance and retreat (ebb & flow).
  • Has the capacity to sustain their own personal and spiritual life through a relationship with God, and fund missionary energy and leadership.
  • Has a spirituality that recognises the reality of struggle and opposition and can draw on God’s love and strength to overcome obstacles. Resilient in the face of adversity.


If you’d like to explore more, join us online at this year’s Church Planting Conference, multiplyX 2021: Together on Thursday, 24 June. Whether you’re lay or ordained, simply interested in or already church planting or pioneering Christian communities, we’d love you to be part of this conference. Find out more here.