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DiSC Profiles as Predictors of Successful Church Planters


Dr. Paul S. Williams conducted a study of church planters in 2012 entitled, Wired to Plant: The DiSC as a Predictor of Church Planting Success. The Disc is a personality assessment that identifies people in four areas (as illustrated below).


The study revealed that 50 percent of the church planters that responded had one DiSC pattern—the D, or Inspirational pattern. A person who was strongest in the Dominant personality type was viewed as being effective in starting the church.

disc scores

However, this pattern was not considered to be the most successful over the long haul.


The personality type of the church planter that had the highest attendance growth after three years was the Persuader, which has Influence as the highest area. The DiSC type of the planter with the highest per capita giving growth after three years was the Promoter, which also has Influence as the highest area.

It makes sense that people who scored highest in the Dominant personality type got off to a fast start, because this type likes action, immediate results, and making quick decisions. The Influencer was the most successful after three years because his personality type is articulate, popular, enthusiastic, and impulsive.

Caution must be taken when trying to apply this study to determine the best church planter personality type for several reasons:

  1. The DiSC profile is only one measurement of personality. It does not measure ability, aptitude, resourcefulness, or experience. Further, it does not take into account individual differences and giftedness.
  2. This study did not have enough respondents to accurately predict broad trends in church planters or church successes.
  3. The study describes success based on church attendance and giving. It does not analyze the depth of spiritual formation of church members, which is certainly important. In other words—quantity—rather than quality, was measured.
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