Church Planting Assessment Pathway


Ben Ingebretson, director of new church planting for the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal area works developing and shepherding church planters in the Dakotas and Minnesota Conferences through the assessment process. 


Step 1:

Pray. Is God nudging you forward onto this path? Do you feel called?

YES: Take the next step and keep praying and exploring!

MAYBE: Take the next step and keep praying and exploring!

NO: Pause. Discern what has prompted your interest and reconsider. 

Step 2:

Complete an interest application online. This will be sent to Ben Ingebretson. He will get the conversation started.

Step 3:

Meet with your district superintendent and/or the director of new church development. Get their sense of whether you should pursue assessment for church planting. Their response? 

YES: Receive that encouragement; keep praying and exploring!

MAYBE: Receive their cautionary concerns; keep praying and exploring!

NO: Pause. They may or may not discern rightly. Keep praying and exploring!  

Step 4:

Take the Church Planter Profiles assessment.

  • You will be asked to create an account.
  • As you enter your information leave agency to the default and do NOT check "skip ISA"
  • Select the $19.95 Initial Screening Assessment.
  • Save your results (these are not automatically forwarded)
  • Send the results to Ben Ingebretson (
  • Assess your overall score

GREEN (76-100%): Receive that affirmation; keep praying and exploring!

YELLOW (51-75%): Talk with the director of new church development to discern the next step.

RED (0-50%): Talk with the director of new church development to discern the next step.


Step 5:

Follow the steps listed below and complete the Lifeway Church Planter Candidate Assessment. This will cost you $29.

Purchasing and activating the Passcode

  • Go to the Dakotas-Minnesota Conference page at Lifeway.
  • Click on the Purchase Passcode button, which will link you to
  • Update the quantity for the number of passcodes that need to be purchased and click Add To Cart.
  • This will start the check out process.  You will need to register and email address and password to complete the purchase.
  • From the summary page, you will click Activate Membership.
  • This will give you the passcode(s) that will be used to register.

Registering for the CPCA

  • Go to Lifeway CPCA page.
  • Click Register Passcode towards the bottom of the screen
  • Enter/copy and paste the passcode and press Submit.
  • Now, you will register your personal information and create a password. From here on, you will log in with your email and this password.

The completed assessment will be sent to the director of new church development.


Meet with Ben Ingebretson to review your assessment results. You are:

APPROVED TO CONTINUE: Move to the next step

NOT APPROVED TO CONTINUE: Reflect on your assessment experience and where you need to grow or adjust. 

Step 6:

Obtain references from 5 individuals who know your character and have seen you in ministry as a communicator/preacher, as a leader and as a team builder. Submit those along with a recent DISC assessment and preaching clip to Ben Ingebretson 

Step 7:   

Schedule a full day for you and your spouse to engage in a behavioral interview. Relax with the process and let things unfold. What are the results?

APPROVED: Receive that affirmation, keep praying and exploring!

CONDITIONALLY APPROVED: Work to address the conditions, pray and seek counsel. 

NOT APPROVED: Pause & receive feedback from wise counsel. You gifts may lie elsewhere.


Step 8:  

Contact Ben Ingebretson requesting to be registered for a psych assessment/MMPI. Sign the release to give the Director of Church Planting access to the results. Move to the next step.

Step 9:

Meet with the director of new church development to draft a preliminary business and launch plan. Request the approval of a district superintendent and the Cabinet. Their response? 

APPROVED: You are off and running. Proceed to Step 10.

CONDITIONALLY APPROVED: Receive the conditions and work with district superintendent and director of new church development to manage the conditions.

NOT APPROVED: Receive the wisdom of the Cabinet and seek further direction. 

Step 10:

Begin boot camp, convene your first stakeholder team, and begin fundraising.   

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058