Natural Church Development

Uncovering what people in your church are really thinking an expecting from your ministry.

 

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Assessing the quality of your church’s health

In order to assess one’s physical well-being it is necessary to undergo a battery of diagnostic tests, some more intrusive than others. When your doctor presents the results, you either breathe a sigh of relief or ask, “What’s next?” In both events you have a clear picture of the state of your health. The same holds true for churches. People’s real attitudes, feelings and perspectives are hard to determine at times, especially in a church. So what kind of diagnostic tool gets below the surface to uncover what people are thinking and expecting in your community of faith?

Converge Great Lakes recommends several tools for a church’s self-assessment. One of the best tool for doing this is a Natural Church Development (NCD) Survey, by Christian Schwarz.

Christian Schwarz developed this tool using approved methods from social science. The research followed stringent scientific procedures assuring the accuracy of the results. Worldwide, 72,984 surveys have been taken over a period of 13 years in 64 countries on five continents. Two-thirds of those surveys were done in the United States.

The research results continue to confirm what many leaders have known intuitively: Healthy churches are growing churches, making more and better disciples in loving obedience to Christ. Eight essential qualities were identified, which can be measured quantitatively:

  • Empowering leadership
  • Gift-oriented ministry
  • Passionate spirituality
  • Effective structures
  • Inspiring worship
  • Holistic small groups
  • Need-oriented evangelism
  • Loving relationships

At any time in the life of a church it will have a weak quality/system that needs to be addressed, fixed or developed further. By means of a self-diagnostic survey taken by the 30 key influencers in the church, NCD helps the leadership recognize that system which needs to be targeted for improvement. Knowing what the congregation is really thinking about the health of its systems is invaluable information for a pastor and his leadership team.

It is widely recommended that a church adopt the concept of a church health rhythm wherein underlying attitudes, feelings and expectations are addressed on an annual basis by working the Natural Church Development process in its church. In fact, taking the survey and actively addressing the results will lead to church growth. Church Health Matrix is another self-scoring inventory that a pastor or church leadership team can use to discern the relative health of your church. 

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Converge Great Lakes helped us work through a variety of growth transitions and work through staff conflict, and how to create the right team. They provided coaching for church health, which resulted in greater ministry effectiveness.

John Anderson, Hope Community Church, Shawano, WI