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Frequently Asked Questions for Planters

I want to be a church planter. What is my first step?

Start with the Planter Self Assessment. This online test will help you consider your character, your call, your competencies, and your spouse’s support of what you want to do (if you are married). Fill out the assessment and ask your spouse to do one too! Submit a copy of your self assessment  and we will contact you about next steps.

Is the self assessment necessary?

Yes. The self assessment is like the diving board that gets you into the pool. Our first phone conversation will center around areas the self assessment reveals and around your ministry dreams and plans. It shows the ways God has gifted and used you and the opportunities and challenges that might lie ahead.

What is Discovery Lab? Is it the same as Pathways Lab?

Discovery Lab is a dedicated time for exploring whether you have the capacity to become a successful church planter, if you are ready to start a church, and if you and Kairos will be a good fit for each other. During this process, a team of trained interviewers looks at your life from all angles in order to give you honest and helpful feedback about where they see God moving in you. The days together are exhausting, but we do our best to wrap them in affirmation, encouragement, and support, as we listen for the Spirit to speak through us into your life.

​We typically host 2 Discovery Labs per year. One of these labs is called Pathways Lab and is specifically designed for younger ministers who are not wanting to plant a new church yet, but are either entering an apprenticeship, starting a campus ministry, or are trying to figure out their next steps in ministry.

Discovery Labs are held in different areas of the country or online. Attendance at Discovery Lab is by invitation only. The Pathways Lab takes place in the summer in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Is Discovery Lab necessary?


It gives a baseline of where you will need to focus your preparation time. Some potential planters leave Discovery Lab with the green light to move on to the next step in church planting. Some learn that they don’t have the capacity to be lead planters, but that they might be valuable as seed team members. Many of the potential planters come out of Discovery Lab with recommendations on how to spend the next months or years in preparation. These planters may be set up as apprentices in an existing church or church plant. They may be assigned to work through the Emerging Leader Training series to increase their experiences in sharing faith and leading small groups.

The feedback you receive from Discovery Lab will affirm what the Spirit is doing in you. It will also give you specific recommendations for next steps. Many of those who go through Discovery Lab use the reports we supply them as a life plan going forward.

What is Strategy Lab?

Strategy Lab is where a church planter takes ideas, dreams, and visions, and gives them structure and process.  At Strategy Lab, the planter develops a vision and sets definite measurable goals to achieve that vision.

During this 5-day lab, Kairos helps planters put words to their visions. A mission is drawn out of the vision. Core values and basic beliefs are mined and expressed. The planter (or planter couple) develops strategies to enter and embrace their community. They look for ways their community can be introduced to Jesus.

Strategy Lab usually takes place in September on the campus of an established church of Christ. Sometimes we also offer an online option. We invite veteran church planters and established church leaders to join us on site as resources for new planters and as dreamers of their own dreams. Strategy Lab is bathed in prayer as we seek God’s guidance and wisdom.

Does Kairos offer financial support to its church planters?

The short answer is no, though we do have some funding for church planters who are willing to work in specific communities. Kairos does not raise the funds to pay church planters. One of the steps toward becoming a church planter is receiving fund raising training through Support Raising Solutions Bootcamp.

We spend a lot of time and energy cultivating relationships with established churches that we pray will become partner churches. We help planters prepare for conversations with these churches, but we can’t guarantee the churches and planters will strike a lasting relationship.

We see the importance and value of each planter working out of the context of an established church. Every planter needs a partner church to support the whole person and the whole family.

​We do offer financial support on an administrative level. As you work through the steps to becoming a church planter, at some point our financial administration team will start collecting and distributing the funds you raise.

Can’t I go as a vocational church planter and skip dealing with established churches altogether?

You could, but Kairos does not recommend it. Most jobs severely limit the time and energy necessary for meeting and interacting with people.

There is a blessing and a discipline that comes from raising friends and funds. Kairos values and believes in the local, established church. God sends his missionaries out from existing churches. The planter best goes out in the name of Jesus and with the blessing of his “Antioch” (Acts 13).

I’m single. Can I be a church planter?

Yes, singles can be church planters. There are some advantages to being single, and there are some disadvantages. Start with the self assessment and let’s see where it goes from there.

What is a coach? Can I get one?

A church planting coach is someone who walks alongside a church planter. The planter does the work while the coach watches (or listens). The coach understands the process of church planting and can help the planter see next steps from a different perspective.

One of key directives of Kairos is: No One Plants Alone.

​Every planter who works with Kairos is coached by a trained, experienced coach. All of our coaches have actually planted churches, either in the States or overseas. As you move through the steps toward becoming a church planter, at the appropriate point we will assign you a coach.

We also provide opportunities for you to interact with and get to know other church planters. These relationships will be so valuable to you as you start something new and different in your community. It’s good to hear someone else say, “Done that and I survived!”

What about a mentor?

Mentors and coaches are not exactly the same thing. A coach is a strategic helper. A mentor being a spiritual helper.  A mentor may not have coaching skills or knowledge, but Kairos expects our coaches to have mentoring skills.

​We encourage and expect every planter to have a mentor. The job is too big and too demanding to be out there alone. Mentors pray for their mentees, nurturing them and watching out for their spirits. Kairos sets up the coach/planter relationship, but we do not choose your mentor.