Personality traits of church planters and other church leaders in Europe (II)

Annemarie Foppen, Stefan Paas, Joke Van Saane

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In search of a renewal of their mission in the secularized West, an increasing number of (Protestant) churches have embarked on the creation of new faith communities with a strong missionary purpose. This entrepreneurial approach of mission raises a number of questions, among which the issue of leadership is paramount. Currently, however, very little reliable empirical research has been done among faith entrepreneurs, or 'church planters', in Europe. In this article the personality dimensions of 215 church planters are compared with 307 'regular' church leaders (pastors), based on the so-called 'Big Five' personality test. Independent samples t-tests showed that church planters are significantly more extravert, open to new experiences, and conscientious than 'regular' pastors, and significantly less neurotic, while scores on agreeableness are more or less similar. These results are discussed with a view to existing literature on church planting and entrepreneurship in the West.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-308
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Empirical Theology : JET
Issue number2
Early online date21 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • BFI
  • Big five
  • Church planters
  • Pastors; mission
  • Psychological profiling


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