SendNC staff members are celebrating what they saw as the “faithfulness of God” after completing this month’s Assessment Retreat with potential church planters.

SendNC staff members are celebrating what they saw as the “faithfulness of God” after completing this month’s Assessment Retreat with potential church planters.

The retreat, which took place Aug. 3-4 at Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, gathered prospective church planters who had undergone several stages of initial assessment through the SendNC church planting pathway. The two-day event gave Send Network and SendNC assessors — who jointly hosted the event — a final opportunity to evaluate the church planting candidates before giving their endorsement. 

«We at SendNC have the privilege of observing God’s movement as it unfolds, beginning with a planter and his wife’s heart,” said Antoine Lassiter, church planting strategist for SendNC. “This journey continues with confirmation from the sending church, and I love how we get to participate in this beautiful, Spirit-led process.”

Assessment retreats are a key way SendNC and Send Network determine the readiness of future church planters. After completing several assessment surveys measuring church planting capacity, personal character and marriage status, prospective church planters are invited to an Assessment Retreat for a final round of evaluation.

During the retreat, assessors walk with candidates — along with their spouses and representatives from their churches — through the following categories: calling, emotional and spiritual health, family dynamics, vision, leadership, communication, missional engagement, disciple-making and social skills. Evaluating the church planters based on these characteristics allows assessors to discern whether the church planter is ready to plant, needs development or should be redirected to a different path or ministry.

Mike Pittman, director of SendNC, said that he could not be more proud of this church planting assessment process. 

«The Send Network assessment process is incredible,» Pittman said. «When we began talking about this SendNC partnership, our hosting the Send Network Assessment Retreat in North Carolina was a non-negotiable for me. The SendNC Assessment Retreat is an incredible event designed to encourage sending churches and the health of their planter candidate couples. I’m proud for sending churches to bring their candidates to our Assessment Retreat.”

After assessors affirm that these candidates are “ready to plant,” candidates can then receive the benefits of becoming SendNC-endorsed church planters, which includes training, funding and additional resources and benefits

According to Lassiter, the entire process gives everyone involved — sending churches, candidates and assessors alike — a glimpse at God’s faithfulness.

“I’m amazed at how the Assessment Retreat serves as a reminder of God’s unwavering faithfulness to all of us,” said Lassiter. “This is one of the ways we are on mission together and it’s wonderful to be a part of it.”

The next Assessment Retreat in North Carolina will take place Dec. 5-6, 2023. To learn more about joining the SendNC church planting pathway, visit SendNC.org.