Pastor Robert Gentry from High Hill Christian Church (High Hill, MO) speaks on his experience and journey with the Natural Church Development Survey, what he has learned and identified as growth opportunities and his experience with NCD coaches.
Our NCD journey as a formal Converge member church began in November of 2020, but in reality, it began many months before as I began to engage with Converge MidAmerica, the local Converge Together Group that I’m a part of, and some independent research of my own. At the time I was serving as the Executive Pastor at High Hill Christian Church and was looking for a way to evaluate the health and strength of our church. Our first assessment was on November 15, 2020. Two months after that I transitioned into the Lead Pastor role at our church.
Our first round of results was pretty dismal. I met with my NCD coach and went through the results. We then met with the coach as an eldership to discuss what the next steps would be. I tasked my freshly hired Executive Administrator to start and lead a church health team to work on our three lowest categories, as identified by the NCD. I also bought her every book I could on the NCD. Some of these answers are informed by my conversation with her. Working with Natural Church Development has strengthened our church from the inside out. It has helped us by identifying our strengths and weaknesses and then providing the structures to rebuild and work on those areas.
Since introducing NCD to our church, our growth has been phenomenal and we are currently seeing new faces and families every week. Sometimes as many as 5 new families a week, which for a church of 150 is a lot. Our church averaged about 110 in 2020 and now we average over 150. With this growth, we’ve introduced new structures to welcome newcomers and are trying new ways to better plug them into the life of our church.
The Health Team has also come up with ways to better identify our church’s staff, elders, and volunteers to the rest of the congregation. We have dramatically changed every element of our Worship Experience, (our lowest scoring NCD category two years running) from the preaching and worship, to appearance and volunteers.
The Church Health Team has given great insight on what needs to happen in and around our building, how we are structured and organized, and how we can love our people and community better. Personally, I love having a rotating team that has helped us see blind spots that our staff and elders easily miss.
Without Natural Church Development, we would probably be continuing old cycles and practices that would no longer be functional for us. We truly have the NCD and of course, the Holy Spirit to thank for all of the growth, new structures, and the current health of our church.
If your church is interested in completing the Natural Church Development (NCD) please contact us.