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Overview of Natural Church Development. What does the research have to say?. North American Church Growth Stats. 85% are stagnant or declining Leith Anderson, Dying For Change 12.8% are growing by transfer growth 2.2% of churches are growing by conversion growth Chuck Colson, The Body.

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North American Church Growth Stats

  • 85% are stagnant or declining Leith Anderson, Dying For Change

  • 12.8% are growing by transfer growth

  • 2.2% of churches are growing by conversion growthChuck Colson, The Body


What’s the Problem?

Erwin McManus, the author of, “An Unstoppable Force”, uses the same illustration as Christian Schwarz when he comments “…much of the friction that we have been experiencing is due to the fact that we’ve been driving on square tires. It’s time to turn friction into traction and gain momentum”.


What’s the Problem?

Question A - What are those square wheels?

Question B - How do we get rid of them?


Christian schwarz s addresses the problem by beginning with these questions
Christian Schwarz’s addresses the problem by beginning with these questions…

“What church growth principles are true, regardless of culture and theological persuasion?”

“What is the difference between growing and declining churches?”

“What causes a church to grow?”


Three ways to pursue the answer… with these questions…

  • Studying Scripture

  • Observing Nature

  • Empirical Research


1. Studying Scripture with these questions…

And he was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the ground; and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows – how, he himself does not know. The earth produces crops allby itself; first the blade, then the head, and then the mature grain in the head. But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29


1. Studying Scripture with these questions…Conclusions;

  • That we have a role to play is clearly demonstrated by the farmer’s work at seed time and harvest.

  • God has a role to play as seen in the seemingly “all-by-itself” growth.


2. Observing Nature with these questions…

Matthew 6:26 “See the lilies of the field, how they grow”. The word see in the text is the Greek katamathete… learn, observe, study, research.


2. Observing Nature with these questions…

Sunlight

Moisture

Conclusion:

Every organism in the universe has all-by-itself growth potential or growth automatisms. They will grow, thrive and multiply when the environmental factors are suitable.

Nutrients

Pollination

Genetics

Carbon Dioxide


3. Empirical Research with these questions…The International Research Project

  • 1000 churches

  • 32 Countries

  • 6 Continents

    Today

  • 32,000 Churches

  • 58 Countries


3. Empirical Research with these questions…Conclusions -The best possible conditions for growth is quality in eight areas.

Empowering

Gift-oriented

Passionate

Functional

Inspiring

Holistic

Need-oriented

Loving

Leadership

Ministry

Spirituality

Structures

Worship

Small Groups

Evangelism

Relationships

The Adjective is the Key


Let’s go back to our problem. with these questions…

Question A - What are those square wheels?

Question B - How do we get rid of them?


The conclusion what are those square wheels
The Conclusion with these questions…What are those square wheels?

  • Possibly a wrong paradigm about who does the work.

  • Possibly existing environmental inhibitors.


The conclusion
The Conclusion with these questions…

How do we get rid of the square wheels?

Release the (all-by-itself) growth potential by which God Himself grows His church. While it is clear that growth can not be ‘made’ or forced. it is important to keep the environmental resistance to a minimum in order to create the best possible conditions for growth.


The building blocks of ncd

1. What should we do? with these questions…

Develop 8 quality characteristicsContents

4. Why should we do it?

The theological paradigmFoundation

2. Where do we start?

The minimum factor strategyTiming

3. How should we do it?

The six natural principlesMethod

5. What steps should we take?The NCD Cycle1. Prepare 2. Conduct 3. Analyze 4. Plan 5. Implement 6. Re-cycleEvaluation.. Action Planning.. Re-evaluation

The Building Blocks of NCD


Q1. What should we do to reduce environmental resistance? with these questions…

Develop quality with regular church evaluations


The results are very accurate according to accepted scientific standards
The results are very accurate according to accepted scientific standards.

The scales of the church profile have a reliability between r = 0.75 and r = 0.89 depending on the specific scale. For a test with an organizational diagnostic purpose, these are very high values.


The building blocks of ncd1

1. What should we do? scientific standards.

Develop 8 quality characteristicsContents

4. Why should we do it?

The theological paradigmFoundation

2. Where do we start?

The minimum factor strategyTiming

3. How should we do it?

The six natural principlesMethod

5. What steps should we take?The NCD Cycle1. Prepare 2. Conduct 3. Analyze 4. Plan 5. Implement 6. Re-cycleEvaluation.. Action Planning.. Re-evaluation

The Building Blocks of NCD


The minimum factor strategy
The Minimum Factor Strategy scientific standards.

Q2. Where do we start?


The minimum factor strategy1
The Minimum Factor Strategy scientific standards.

Q2. Where do we start?


The building blocks of ncd2

1. What should we do? scientific standards.

Develop 8 quality characteristicsContents

4. Why should we do it?

The theological paradigmFoundation

2. Where do we start?

The minimum factor strategyTiming

3. How should we do it?

The six natural principlesMethod

5. What steps should we take?The NCD Cycle1. Prepare 2. Conduct 3. Analyze 4. Plan 5. Implement 6. Re-cycleEvaluation.. Action Planning.. Re-evaluation

The Building Blocks of NCD


Interdependence scientific standards. Connecting

Functionality Evaluating

MultiplicationReproducing

Symbiosis Cooperating

Energy TransformationHarnessing

Multi-usage Sustaining


Multiplication scientific standards. Reproducing

Survey Question

Churches that promote the multiplication of their small groups have greater health.


The building blocks of ncd3

1. What should we do? scientific standards.

Develop 8 quality characteristicsContents

4. Why should we do it?

The theological paradigmFoundation

2. Where do we start?

The minimum factor strategyTiming

3. How should we do it?

The six natural principlesMethod

5. What steps should we take?The Prevailing Church Cycle 1. Prepare 2. Conduct 3. Analyze 4. Plan 5. Implement 6. Re-cycleEvaluation.. Action Planning.. Re-evaluation

The Building Blocks of NCD


Q4. Why do we develop the eight quality characteristics? scientific standards.

Dangers to the Left

Dangers to the Right

Produces

TechnocraticParadigm

The significance of institutions, programs, methods, etc. is overestimated.The church can be manufactured

Dynamic Poleorganicgrowfreedom“all by itself”

Static Poletechnicalbuildorder“man-made”

SpiritualisticParadigm

The significance of institutions, programs, methods, etc. is underestimated.The church can not be manufactured

Doctrine

Biblical Canon

Ethics

Sacraments

Tradition

Cooperation

Offices

Order

Proclamation

Faith

Word of God

Love

Fellowship

Change

Multiplication

Spiritual gifts

Social services

Evangelism

Stimulates

We do our part, partnering with God as He does His!


Q4. scientific standards.Why do we develop the quality characteristics?

Produces

The creative relationship between the two poles is the secret of Natural Church Development; ensuring that the institutional side of church life (static pole) is in harmony with God’s principles so that the dynamic pole can develop unhindered and healthy.

Dynamic Poleorganicgrowfreedom“all by itself”

Static Poletechnicalbuildorder“man-made”

Stimulates


What s the difference
What’s the Difference scientific standards.

  • NCD rejects merely pragmatic and a-theological approaches (“the end justifies the means”) and replaces them with a principle-oriented point of departure.

  • NCD has no quantitative approach (“How to get more people to attend services?), but looks at the quality of church life as the key to church development.

  • NCD does not attempt to “make” church growth, but to release the growth automatisms, with which God Himself builds the church.


The discovery

When we attempt to “make the church grow” scientific standards.

When we tend to the environmental factors and allow the “God designed” growth automatisms to grow the church….

The Discovery


The building blocks of ncd4

1. What should we do? scientific standards.

Develop 8 quality characteristicsContents

4. Why should we do it?

The theological paradigmFoundation

2. Where do we start?

The minimum factor strategyTiming

3. How should we do it?

The six natural principlesMethod

5. What steps should we take?The NCD Cycle1. Prepare 2. Conduct 3. Analyze 4. Plan 5. Implement 6. Re-cycleEvaluation.. Action Planning.. Re-evaluation

The Building Blocks of NCD


Q5. What steps do we take to develop the eight quality characteristics?

The NCD Cycle

The NCD Cycle is a strategic process that provides a framework for action. It could be thought of as the “Functional Structures”of NCD


The NCD Cycle characteristics?

Phase 6: Review the Cycle

Phase 1: Prepare for the Evaluation

Phase 5: Implement Your Action Plan

Phase 2: Conduct the Evaluation

Phase 4: Develop an Action Plan

Evaluation… Action Planning… Re-evaluation

Phase 3: Analyze the Evaluation


The building blocks of ncd5

1. What should we do? characteristics?

Develop 8 quality characteristicsContents

4. Why should we do it?

The theological paradigmFoundation

2. Where do we start?

The minimum factor strategyTiming

3. How should we do it?

The six natural principlesMethod

5. What steps should we take?The NCD Cycle1. Prepare 2. Conduct 3. Analyze 4. Plan 5. Implement 6. Re-cycleEvaluation.. Action Planning.. Re-evaluation

The Building Blocks of NCD


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