Top Qualities that Make a Successful Church Planter


On October 30 and 31, Northwest Church Planting hosted Stir church planting events in Hillsboro, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Bob Carlton, a church planting expert from Stadia, detailed what it takes to be a successful church planter, culled from his years of experience planting and recruiting planters.

In a room full of people either planting, preparing to plant, or supporting a church plant, Carlton laid out ten “Success Factors” that his experience has shown to be vital:

  1. Spiritual Vitality—church planting is first and foremost a spiritual activity.

  2. Marriage & Family—how you lead at home predicts how you will lead a church.

  3. Relational Skills—church planting is all about relationships.

  4. Directional Clarity—clarity brings focus and energy especially when it’s hard.

  5. Catalytic Leadership—leading others is the primary work of a church planter.

  6. Communication—communication is how people become aware of and perceive the new church.

  7. Disciple Making—if you can’t make disciples, why bother?

  8. Personal Capacity—speed of the leader, speed of the team.

  9. Work Ethic—church planting is hard.

  10. Contextual Awareness—what worked there won’t work here.


Thanks to Gabe Kolstad and Westside Community Church for hosting the Hillsboro event, and North Seattle Alliance for hosting the Seattle event.

Get in now on the next Stir events in your area by RSVPing below: