Discover your gifts for starting new ministries—find your joy.
“The best continuing education I’ve ever done.”
—2014 DML participant
Discerning Missional Leadership Assessments are an important part of your development, because faithful and self-aware leaders propel new worshiping communities forward.
We want to make assessments available for everyone leading or considering leadership of a new worshiping community. We even have a process for teams. These assessments take place around the country in small groups, typically last 3–4 days, and are available to help anyone discern how they might better sustain or prepare for this important ministry.
During the Missional Leadership Assessment, you will work in teams of people going through the same process. You will take part in spiritual reflection and missional theological reflection about your context in ministry, do some team-work exercises, get insights on your leadership style, and take part in an in-depth behavioral interview process.
Our goal is to hold up a mirror to you that allows you to see your gifts and goals clearly, and to also know the kind of people you might want around you as you pursue a new thing. All participants will leave with concrete advice about next steps and a recommendation from the assessment team of, “it’s a fit; it’s not a fit; or it’s a potential fit in the future.”
Missional Leadership Quiz (MLQ)
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.
Take the MLQ
Exploring Missional Leadership (EML)
Exploring Missional Leadership is a daylong introduction to the skills and competencies necessary to start a new worshiping community. Attending an EML can serve as a training opportunity for NWC leadership teams, mid council leaders and commissions, and individuals in the early stages of discerning a call to start a new worshiping community. Email Michael Gehrling to host an EML in your Presbytery.
More about EML
Discerning Missional Leadership (DML)
Ready for a more comprehensive assessment? Discerning Missional Leadership is a three- to four-day, in-person opportunity offered around the country several times each year. DML assessments give you a chance to get to know others as you work in teams and reflect on your gifts and goals. You’ll come away with insight and a plan for next steps.
DML schedule and cost
Apply for DML assessment
Schedule and Cost
- October 23–26 Atlanta/Columbia Theological Seminary — Register by September 26
- November 14–17 Northwest Coast Presbytery — Register by October 13
- February 25–28 Los Angeles, CA / Presbytery of San Fernando — Register by January 26
- April 19–22 Richmond, VA / Presbytery of the James — Register by March 19
$675 for an Individual | $775 for a couple
Full-time Seminary Students (Non-DMin): $325 for an individual | $425 for a couple
This includes the cost of the assessment, housing, and most meals. Participants will need to provide transportation to the site along with funds for about two meals out unless otherwise noted. [The DML typically costs us over $1,800 per person, but we feel they are so important, we have supplemented the registration fee by over $1,000 for each participant.]
Please register for an upcoming DML event. Upon registration, you will will soon receive an email with detailed instructions regarding next steps – including questionnaires, references, and assessment profiles – to complete prior to the event. These are typically due one month before the event starts.
I am registering for the following DML assessment:
Starting new worshiping communities is a life-giving work for those who have the call and capacity for it. “Discerning Missional Leadership” is designed to help discern the call and examine the leadership capacity of those interested in becoming lead church planters. The assessment encourages participation by spouses and potential team members who are called to help model and promote missional living. This three-plus day event will take into account: the planter’s personal history observations; perceptions that people have of them from different spheres of their life; observations from actual exercises with the group; responses to competency based interview questions; and results and observations as they relate to church planting from two separate inventories. 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 this time, those being assessed will be given significant feedback on their readiness for the lead role in church planting, and what they can do to become ready for church planting, or the encouragement that their future ministry consists of apply their strengths in another context. Discerning fit is essential not merely for success but for enjoying the work. This assessment is for: individuals seeking insight and direction for church planting; for churches and other sponsoring groups to get feedback on the capacity of potential candidates to lead a new worshipinng 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 denominations and church planting organizations.
What are the inventories used?
We currently use KTS II (Keirsey Temperament Sorter); and Strengthsfinder 2.0. Those being assessed will receive these in our final reports. WHERE DO THE RESULTS GO?
If an organization is sponsoring someone both parties get the results of the total assessment. If they are Presbyterian, we ask those who are positively assessed if we can pass their name to potential new church opportunities.
What if the results leads away from church planting?
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.
Is there any way we can get financial help for the cost of the assessment?
The cost of the assessment is 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. The grant itself 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 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.
Exploring Missional Leadership
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.
Who Is EML For?
- New worshiping community leadership teams
- Individuals who are in the early stages of discerning a potential call to start a NWC but aren’t yet ready to attend a full DML Assessment
- Mid council staff and leaders, including members of NWC Commissions, CPMs and COMs
How can I bring EML to my presbytery/seminary?
Email Michael Gehrling for more details. 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!