discover your gifts- find your joy.

Assessment is an essential component to anyone’s journey of starting and leading a new worshiping community.

Why assessments?

Because we want you to flourish. Starting and leading a new worshiping community is hard work. It can be wonderfully life giving and rewarding, or it can be a drain on one’s energy and resources. Regardless of whether your community is successful, we want you to be able to look on your time as a new worshiping community leader as a season of personal growth for which you can be thankful. Attending an assessment sets you up for this. It will help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses and identify areas for spiritual, personal, and professional growth.

Why assessments?

Because healthy new worshiping communities are started by healthy leaders called by God. Assessments help ensure that the work of entrepreneurial ministry is a good fit for the prospective leader.

Our goal is to hold up a mirror to you that allows you to see your gifts and goals clearly, and also to know the kind of people you might want around you as you pursue a new thing. 

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Missional Leadership Quiz

Have you ever wondered if starting a new worshiping community is for you? The MLQ is a new, self-assessment to help you discern your level of readiness to become a new worshiping community leader. Although this does not take the place of the more comprehensive Discerning Missional Leadership assessment, this short quiz is a good first step in the discernment process. The MLQ is free, and you will receive your results immediately.

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Attend a Exploring Missional Leadership Event

Starting a new worshiping community is hard work that requires particular competencies in order to flourish. How can you know whether God has given you the gifts needed to start a new worshiping community? How can we all identify and encourage potential new worshiping community leaders? If God is calling us to start a new worshiping community, how can we best prepare? Exploring missional leadership answers these questions.

Exploring Missional Leadership is a daylong event hosted by mid councils and seminaries and led by 1001 national staff. Through presentations, active learning and group conversation, participants will be introduced to the nature of missional church planting and the competencies needed to do that work. Participants discerning a call to start a new worshiping community will be guided in identifying next steps to take in their own skills development. Participants involved in overseeing NWC work will be guided in ways to identify and cultivate potential new worshiping community leaders in their presbytery, congregation or circle of influence.

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Host a exloring Missional Leadership Event

Hosting an EML requires providing a space to hold the event, providing lunch for all participants, publicizing the event and handling registration. The 1001 team provides the rest at no cost! We’re always working with presbyteries, seminaries, and churches to bring the EML to as many as possible. Check back regularly for more dates and locations!


Discerning Missional Leadership is our most thorough form of assessment, and a requirement for those in our grant process. The DML is a 4-day long assessment designed to help discern the call and examine the leadership capacity of those interested in leading a new worshiping community.

The assessment encourages participation by spouses and potential team members who are called to help model and promote missional living. The DML takes into account: the prospective NWC leader’s personal history observations; perceptions that people have of them from different spheres of their life; observations from actual exercises during the event; responses to competency based interview questions; and results and observations as they relate to church planting from pre-course assignments. 

There is also the opportunity for those being assessed to reflect on the experience and engage the group in how they see God at work at this time. At the end of the DML, those being assessed will be given feedback on their readiness for the lead role in starting a new worshiping community, and what they can do to become ready for the task, or the encouragement that they are more likely to flourish in a different form of ministry.

Discerning fit is essential not merely for success but for enjoying the work. This assessment is for: individuals seeking insight and direction for starting a new worshiping community; for churches and other sponsoring groups to get feedback on the capacity of potential candidates to lead a new worshiping community; and students seeking help preparing.


 Who does the assessment?

The assessors are a collection of experienced church planters, those who work in human resources for church planting organizations, and those who oversee church plants for mid-councils, denominations and church planting organizations.


What are the inventories used?

We currently use CliftonStrengths by Gallup.


Where do the results go?

If a presbytery, church or other organization is sponsoring the participant, we encourage the participant to share their results with a representative from that entity. If the participant fails to do this and the sponsoring entity requests the report from 1001, we will provide it to them. Your written reports are also kept on file with 1001.


What if the results leads away from starting a new worshiping community?

We understand that most attending the DML are hoping for a positive result. However, we also know that entering into this work when it’s not a good fit or a good time will be detrimental for the leader and others involved. We give all results seeking what is best for the participant. Regardless of the outcome, this assessment will be invaluable in understanding more fully the unique talents you have for any ministry.


My Mission Program Grant commitment letter says I need to participate in an assessment. Why is this important?

Discerning Missional Leadership Assessments are an important part of your development because faithful and self-aware leaders propel new worshiping communities forward. The assessment also helps your presbytery or partner congregation be certain that you are the right person for the hard work of starting a new worshiping community.


How do I register for an assessment?

Information and registration materials for the Discerning Missional Leadership Assessment are available from the apply now tab.


How much does an assessment cost?

$675 for an Individual; $775 for a couple
Full-time Seminary Students (Non-D.Min):
$325 for an individual;  $425 for a couple
The cost covers housing and most meals as well as the cost of the assessment.

A $100 deposit is required at the time of registration. Deposits are non-refundable, but may be transferred to a later DML with a minimum of 30 days notice prior to the event should you need to change plans.


Is there any way we can get financial help for the cost of the assessment?

The cost of the assessment is already significantly underwritten by the Presbyterian Mission Agency. We recommend that the presbytery or partner congregation share in the cost of the assessment. All parties benefit from finding the right leader for a new worshiping community. Seed Grants and other Mission Program Grants may be used to contribute toward the expense of the assessment. When the DML was added as a condition for grant recipients, the amount of the grant was increased to address the added cost associated with the conditions. Or consider using the specific cost of an assessment to gain a new donor to your community.


Do I need to use the DML assessment offered by the Presbyterian Mission agency?

No. There are other organizations and denominations that offer assessments for church planters. They usually cost more than the DML. The DML has been specifically designed to identify leaders who are suited for the missional, contextual work of starting a new worshiping community. The DML is also available in a variety of language and cultural contexts.


Should my spouse attend the assessment with me?

We encourage spouses to attend regardless of their desire to take an active role in a new initiative. Spouses who will assume a leadership role should apply for assessment as well.


Is the DML offered in languages other than English?

For participants whose first language is not English, we provide at least one assessor who speaks their language. This assessor will be provide translation as needed throughout the DML activities, and will conduct the participant’s interview in their first language. Please notify us at registration of your language need so that we can make proper arrangements. We also occasionally offer DMLs entirely in languages other than English. Check the “Apply Now” page for a list of upcoming DMLs to see if one is offered in your language.


take the missional leadership quiz

Have you ever wondered if starting a new worshiping community is for you? The MLQ is a new, self-assessment to help you discern your level of readiness to become a new worshiping community leader.

contact Michael Gehrling

Do you have questions about our Assessments? Contact Michael Gehrling

View schedule and Register for the discerning missional leadership

Throughout the year we offer DML’s. Click below to view events and register.