Church-Health Month is Coming!

By: Gary Rohrmayer

May is the season in our calendar where we encourage churches to take a close look at both the quality and the quantity of their church’s ministry through taking the Natural Church Development Survey.
Natural Church Development (NCD) is a comprehensive approach to assessing and enhancing the health of churches, pioneered by Christian Schwarz. At its core, NCD focuses on identifying and cultivating the essential elements that contribute to the vitality and growth of a congregation. The NCD Survey serves as the foundation for this transformative process, offering valuable insights that empower churches to thrive.

The NCD Survey is not a mere checklist; rather, it delves into eight key systems that underpin a healthy church. These systems include empowering leadership, gift-oriented ministry, passionate spirituality, effective structures, inspiring worship services, holistic small groups, need-oriented evangelism and loving relationships. By assessing the quality of these systems, churches gain a holistic understanding of their strengths and areas that may need improvement, ultimately seeking to use their strengths to address their areas of concern.

One of the foundational elements of a healthy church, as revealed by the NCD Survey, is empowering leadership. This goes beyond traditional notions of leadership; it involves equipping and entitling every member to contribute their unique gifts and talents. Empowering leadership creates a culture where individuals feel valued and engaged, fostering a sense of ownership and shared responsibility within the congregation.

Gift-oriented ministry is another crucial aspect highlighted by the NCD Survey. It emphasizes the importance of aligning individuals with roles that resonate with their natural abilities and passions. When members are involved in ministries that align with their gifts, they are more likely to experience fulfillment and contribute meaningfully to the church’s mission.

Passionate spirituality is a dynamic characteristic that distinguishes healthy churches. It involves fostering a deep, vibrant relationship with God that permeates every aspect of the congregation’s life. The NCD Survey encourages churches to prioritize spiritual growth and cultivate an environment where individuals are inspired to pursue an authentic and passionate connection with their faith.

Effective structures represent the organizational framework that supports a healthy church. The NCD Survey prompts churches to assess their administrative systems and processes, ensuring they are working for the church and not against the church and its mission. A well-organized structure enables the congregation to operate smoothly and focus on its core mission.

Inspiring worship services play a vital role in the health of a church, as revealed by the NCD Survey. These services should engage and uplift the congregation, creating an atmosphere that facilitates meaningful encounters with God. The survey encourages churches to evaluate the impact of their worship services on the spiritual vitality of their members.

Holistic small groups are essential for fostering a sense of community and connection within a church. The NCD Survey emphasizes the importance of smaller connection points that go beyond mere social gatherings, providing opportunities for spiritual growth, accountability, support and effective ministry.

Need-oriented evangelism challenges churches to move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to outreach. 

The NCD Survey prompts congregations to understand the specific needs of their community and tailor their evangelistic efforts accordingly. This targeted approach increases the relevance and effectiveness of the church’s outreach initiatives while seeking to equip every member as missionary in the sphere of influence.

Loving relationships are at the heart of a healthy church, according to the NCD Survey. It encourages congregations to prioritize the development of genuine, caring connections among members. A church characterized by love and unity is not only more attractive to newcomers but also provides a nurturing environment for growth and transformation.

In conclusion, the Natural Church Development Survey by Christian Schwarz offers a comprehensive and insightful framework for enhancing the health of churches. By assessing and cultivating empowering leadership, gift-oriented ministry, passionate spirituality, effective structures, inspiring worship services, holistic small groups, need-oriented evangelism and loving relationships, congregations can embark on a transformative journey toward greater vitality and impact. The NCD Survey empowers churches to identify their strengths and areas for improvement, ultimately guiding them on a path towards holistic health and growth.

From now until the end of May, Converge MSC wants to make an investment in your church with a special promotion for any churches registering for the Natural Church Development Survey! The surveys usually cost $400, but if you sign up between now and the end of May, you will only pay $300. You need only to sign up now, but you can schedule the NCD for later in the year. Sign-up now!