Natural Church Development

What Is It?

Sometimes people ask the question, “How can we get more people to come to our church?” A far better question is “How can your church become healthier?” As your church becomes healthier, you won’t be able to keep people away. People are drawn to life.

Natural Church Development is a way of understanding church health and growth that views the church as a living organism. The focus is not on numerical growth, but on improving the health of the church, with the understanding–impressively documented by research–that when a church is sufficiently healthy, numerical growth will follow.

A major global research project involving a thousand churches in 32 countries confirmed what most of us already assumed: Healthy churches tend to be growing churches. The research identified eight Quality Characteristics essential to church health, regardless of denomination, nationality, or language.

This research is at the heart of the Natural Church Development process. A survey of 30 people at the core of your congregation measures your strengths and weaknesses. The Quality Characteristic with the lowest score is your Minimum Factor. Like the shortest stave of a barrel, this is the factor that most limits your capacity. By raising this lowest stave, you remove the greatest barrier to your church’s healthy growth.

Will You Take This Step to Strengthen Your Church?

What Is The Process?

Step 1: Prepare

Acquaint yourself with NCD Principles by readingthe book Natural Church Development.

Introduce NCD principles to your church leaders by distributing The ABC’s of Natural Church Development booklet.

Step 2: Diagnose

Conduct an NCD Survey in your church to identify your minimum factor.

Step 3: Plan

Develop a strategy to raise the quality of your minimum factor by using the Implementation Guide, and other available resources.

Step 4: Implement

Implement your strategy in your church as a team under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Step 5: Evaluate

Monitor your progress with an annual church health check-up by completing another NCD survey.

What Should I Do?

The Church of God (Holiness) Home Missions Board is offering a pilot program for churches to go through the Natural Church Development process. We will provide full first-year funding for up to 10 churches willing to go through the process.

What we provide:

♦ 1 Copy of Natural Church Development for the Pastor
♦ 1 Copy of ABC’s of Natural Church Development for every board member
♦ NCD Survey (for pastor and up to 30 laypersons) and the processing of results done by a third party
♦ A Coach to help keep you on track.

A $200+ Value!

What Are The Results?

1. In 31 months, many churches completed 2 NCD Cycles and 3 Surveys
2. 85% experienced positive gain in quality
3. On average a 51% increase in growth rate was measured
4. Over 1.3 million new Christians were added to local churches
5. These new Christians joined churches with improving health

Why Should I Do It?

• Recent research states that there are now 195 million non-churched people in America, making America one of the top four largest “unchurched” nations in the world.
• In spite of the rise of mega-churches, no county in America has a greater church population than it did ten years ago.—Ron Sylvia
• During the last ten years, combined communicant membership of all Protestant denominations declined by 9.5 percent (4,498,242), while the national population increased by 11.4 percent (24,153,000).—Tom Clegg
• Each year 3,500 to 4,000 churches close their doors forever.—Win Arn
• The Great Commission commands us to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is tough for unhealthy churches to reach a lost and dying world.
• We are often satisfied with the status quo when God has so much more for His church.
• The focus is on becoming a healthy church, ensuring it is a living organism, rather than a dying one.

Will You Take This Step to Strengthen Your Church?

Get in Touch with COGH Home Missions