Our Purpose Introduce NCD Concept, background Process and mechanics Identify the people resources needed Outline costs Help you decide if this tool might be right for your congregation
Trinitarian Compass Green Red Blue
What’s the Problem? • Question A - What are those square wheels? • Question B - How do we get rid of them?
Christian Schwarz (NCD Founder) addresses the problem by asking… “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?” He finds three ways to pursue the answer… • Studying Scripture • Observing Nature • Empirical Research
1. Studying Scripture And he was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the ground; …and the seed sprouts up and grows – how, he himself does not know. The earth produces crops allby itself;…. When the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29 Conclusion: God has a role to play as seen in the seemingly “all-by-itself” growth. But like the farmer, we also have a role to play, to prepare the ground for this growth and support it.
2. Observing Nature Conclusion: Every organism in the universe has all-by-itself growth potential. They will grow, thrive and multiply when the environmental factors are suitable. Sunlight Moisture Nutrients Pollination Genetics Carbon Dioxide
3. Empirical Research: The NCD international research project 1000 churches 32 countries 5 continents 4.2 million answers
Empirical ResearchConclusions -The best possible condition for growth is quality in 8 areas EmpoweringLeadership Gift-orientedMinistry PassionateSpirituality Effective Structures InspiringWorship Service Holistic Small Groups Need-oriented Evangelism LovingRelationships
How do we get rid of the square wheels? The Conclusion Release the (all-by-itself) growth potential by which God Himself grows the church. While it is clear that growth cannot 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
Reducing Environmental Resistance – The NCD Survey • Q1. How do we reduce environmental resistance? • Develop quality through regular church evaluations • Q2. How do we do these evaluations? • Ask parish members about their parish and their faith experience. Compare our results to those of other churches. • Q3. Which parish members do we ask? • A. A sample of 30 members who are active in parish groups, have clear tasks, and are committed to the parish ministry
What is the survey process? • Form an NCD Leadership Team • Determine who qualifies for the survey • Select and invite the 30 (Explain to the rest why these 30) • Obtain the Survey Forms from NCD Canada (PDFs) • Complete the survey • Transcribe the results into an Excel form and send this to NCD Canada for analysis • NCD Canada returns analysis (Parish Profile)in a few days
Acting on the Results: The ‘Minimum Factor’ Strategy Quality Minimum Factor Strengths and Weaknesses Using strengths to work on weak areas 8 Quality Characteristics
The NCD Cycle: a strategic process that provides a framework for action. • Test our perceptions • Understand the barriers to God’s all-by-itself growth • Plan how to remove the barriers, and what we expect to experience • Do (implement the plan) • Experience God at work in the church and in our lives generally • Perceive these experiences; prepare for next survey
The NCD Support Team The NCD Team should be comprised of 3-5 people who: are spiritually mature. are strategic thinkers. can see the big picture. have a desire to see the health of the church increase. The team should also include the incumbent They will need to: decide who is responsible for which tasks. do action planning. develop a time-line for implementation. bring awareness and make presentations. recruit the Survey participants. Understand the results. implement the Action Plan.
Survey Costs, including Analysis First Survey - $400.00 Subsequent Survey - $375.00 Additional Material – Colour Your World with NCD approx - $25 The abc’s of Natural Church Development - $2.69
Leaders are Liberated • Analysis helps identify the most important issues, so action can stay focused • Maximizes use of limited time, energy & resources • Long term sustainable growth, not fads • Universal growth principles • Process of continuous improvement • Concrete input for developing or refining vision • God brings the growth • Our role is to partner with God, not generate growth
What NCD is not • A prescriptive "silver bullet" program • A guarantee of church growth • A replacement for spiritual leadership • A substitute for the unique vision God has for each church • A short term solution or quick-fix • A “complete package”