Converge: Part 2

In my last post I mentioned the three tools Converge uses to improve the pontential for success in church planting. I talked a bit about the assessment process. Another tool is one on one coaching. This is actually where I was introduced to Converge since they have been training several of us in the V3 movement to improve our coaching skills. I am currently coaching 1 church planter in the pre-launch phase and two potentilal church planters (who went through the assessment center this week).

Coaching is similar to mentoring in that it is best done one one one, and is aimed at helping the person being coached to improve their skills. However, unlike mentoring, coaching focuses on helping the candidate develop what is already there in their lives. It is about refocusing and resourcing. It is about helping the person set and meet personal goals. It is about asking good questions. If you are interested in coaching, a good starting place is “Coaching 101” by Bob Logan. This simple book provides a goos intro into the discipline of coaching.

Converge Church Planter Assessment

I’ve been attending a Church Planter Assessment Center for Converge all week. Not only do they have one of the most vibrant church planting movements in the U.S., they really know how to assess potential church planters. The assessment process is one part of a three part process that has allowed them to achieve somewhere near an 85% success rate in their church plants. The three parts are Assessment, Coaching and Risk Management. Having taken part in this process now, I understand why they have such a good reputation in the assessment world.

Their assessment includes three different personality profiles, multiple problem solving activities, public speaking, philosophy of ministry, interviews and other tools. All of these put together provide an accurate picture of the potential planter, which leads to a very valuable assessment. Not everyone who wants to plant churches is wired for the task. Some who are wired aren’t quite ready. The assessment recommends practical steps for these candidates to help them become prepared.

One of the hardest things an assessor can do is to tell a potential candidate that he is not wired for church planting. As difficult as this is, it is also the best thing an assessor can do for that person. It can save them a lot of pain and suffering.

Transformational Church

I attended an event today about “Transformational Church” by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer. The book was written based on research Stetzer coordinated in churches throughout the U.S. After writing the book they developed an assessment tool and other resources designed to help churches develop strategies to become more like the transformational churches in the study. For more info, go to

In the six-hour seminar I attended, I didn’t hear anything new. In fact, I came away feeling pretty good about the church where I recently stepped down as pastor to work for the Peninsula Baptist Association. I feel our church would score rather well in these categories as they were described to us. I know most of Lifeway’s constituency is in more traditional churches, and their products reflect this. Stetzer and Rainer are probably the two most cutting edge folks working on the denominational level with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Topics covered included:

Missionary Mentality, Vibrant Leadership, Relational Intentionality, Prayerful Dependence, Worship, Community and Mission

Before passing judgement on this new tool, I’d like to get some feedback from a church that has taken the assessment survey and gone through the consultation process. I’d be curious as how it stacks up to Natural Church Development, and the Church Health assessment tools. I spoke with one of the consultants who is available to come into a church to walk them through this process. It didn’t sound like their training was as rigorous as the training for NCD (which I went through several years ago).