Discerning Church Starters


The cycle begins with discernment. Specifically, it begins with discerning a call to starting a new church.


There are numerous aspects to this holy process.

Thus, as a discerner, we invite you into two requirements to work through all aspects of discerning a call to start a new church. Firstly, we invite you into a relationship with one of our coaches, therapists or spiritual directors. This monthly meeting will allow you to discuss the nuances of your process of discernment with a thoughtful and caring expert. Secondly, we have found that the work of discernment needs to be worked out in a community of like-minded peoples. Thus, we invite you into one of our discernment dinners. At these dinners you will cross-pollinate your discernment process with others who are in a similar season of life.  

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Two Essentials for the Discerning Church Starter

1) Join a discerners group.

Meet for a meal with other discerners to discuss next steps around the potential for starting a new church. View upcoming events for discerners. 

2) Begin a relationship with a coach, therapist, or spiritual advisor.

The process of discernment is best accomplished with others. Therefore, we have set up the opportunity for our discerners to meet monthly with either a coach, therapist or spiritual advisor. Connect with a coach, therapist, or spiritual advisor. 


Five Activities of the Discernment Process

1) Begin to develop a vision. 

A vision for a new church often begins with the discerning church starter. As our discerners listen and pray, we encourage them to begin to frame their vision for the context in which they find themselves. 

2) Identify resourcing partners.

Different leaders require different levels of resources based upon numerous elements. As these elements are perceived, we encourage our discerners to grow healthy relationships with their partners.

3) Identify a tradition. 

Starting a new church is difficult. Starting a new church without a tradition is even harder. Thus, utilizing our extensive networks for identifying a fitting tradition is essential for support and growth. 

4) Attend an assessment center. 

Our assessment center for Cyclical LA measures one's ability to identify what God is doing in context. Plan on walking the streets and engaging the Holy Spirit while a caring group of objective assessors gauge aptitudes essential for starting new churches.

5) Begin to gather a church starting team.

We can't do this alone. Thus, beginning to gather a team around a common and shared vision is an essential step toward becoming a church starter. 


As my wife and I are feeling called to plant, CLA has been a major step in the discernment process. Both of us realize and value preparation, and CLA has created a safe place for discerners like me as well as current church planters to learn from one another, dream together, and discuss all the pitfalls common to the planning process. CLA is exactly what I needed to further discern God’s call, and I’m excited for further formation and reflection!
— Chris Romine, Discerning Church Starter