1. The survey will close the gap between lay leaders and pastoral staff.
Pastors who are sold out to the cause of Christ think about ministry 24/7. How much time do your committed lay leaders think about ministry in the local church? As a lay person in my church I now know the answer to that question. Not as much as the pastor thinks! This alone can cause a gap of misunderstanding. What the pastor feels are the needs of the church are not necessarily what the congregation perceives. NCD Survey is a great way to close that gap of misunderstanding and bring more harmony and health into the church constructively.
I can't tell you how many times pastors have said, "My staff and I thought we knew what the weak systems were in our church but we were completely caught off guard by the results. If we had gone in our own direction we would have wasted so much time, created confusion and addressed only our felts needs as staff and not the real needs of the congregation."
2. The survey will help you identify the weak system that needs to be addressed in your ministry from the perspective of your key leaders.
I am a big proponent of systems theory. Too often we think we have a people problem but we really have a systems problem. I define church systems as reproducible and interconnected processes by which the church actualizes its values and achieves its mission.
I believe every healthy church values leadership, evangelism, spiritual formation, service, loving relationships and small groups. So the question is, do you have a reproducible and interconnected process that:
- empowers leaders into the harvest?
- insures inspirational worship gatherings?
- encourages evangelism throughout the community?
- stimulates spiritual passion in every believer?
- promotes healthy relationships in your community of faith?
- connects people in healthy small groups?
- deploys people into ministry?
- builds organizational health?
The Natural Church Development Survey will help pinpoint the underdeveloped system that needs attention. Thus it gives you a starting point in your strategic planning process.
3. The survey reveals the real morale and needs of your key leaders and influencers in the church.
From this sample profile we see that the key leaders and influencers in the church feel that the church is a great place to be with an average score of 57, this is an above average health score which means that the quality of the services are in a healthy range. They might be experiencing some level of numerical growth but probably plateaued and are facing a growth barrier. NCD International reports that a church whose average score is 65 or over above is experiencing numerical growth.
What else can we learn from this snapshot?
Areas of Strengths: We see here that the leaders felt their church has a strong worship experience, high level of relational harmony, great sense of spiritual passion and good systems and structures.
Areas for Focus: Here we see that the leadership system needs to be developed more fully. What your leaders are communicating through this score is a need to be empowered for ministry, spiritual development, better delegation, clearer goals, stronger communication within the leadership structure, and more support in their ministries through coaching.
Quality growth is measured by the attitudes, feelings and perspectives of your key leaders towards the programs, people and progress of the church.
4. The survey provides a measurable process for improving the quality of your ministry.
There are two ways to measure the health of your church.
1) Quantitative Growth is built around key numbers and thier percentages.
- New Visitor Ratio: How many new visitors do you need in an average month to grow your church?
- Baptism Ratio: What is a healthy percentage between the average worship attendance and the number of baptisms annually?
- Giving Ratio: What is a healthy dollar amount given per person on an average Sunday?
- Serving Ratio: What is a healthy percentage of average attenders and those engaged in a ministry?
- Small Group Ratio: What is a healthy percentage of those attending on an average weekend and those engaged in a small group?
- Membership Ratio: What is a healthy percentage of those attending on an average weekend and those who are committed members?
- Leadership Ratio: How many new leaders are added to your leadership community annually?
2) Qualitative Growth is measured through the attitudes, feelings and perspectives towards people, programs and the progress of the church.
In doing the NCD Survey every year you can see the measurable results of your teams work in improving that weak area of your ministry and how that affects all the other ministry areas. Here is an example of one church's journey.
This church put significant energy in improving the structures or systems which resulted in a increase of 14 points. They improved the overall quality of the ministry by 20 points. Meaning, they significantly raised the morale of its leaders. Six out of the eight areas had a positive growth. Only two areas slipped in quality which could be interpreted as people feeling that there was too much focus on structures and systems that spiritual formation and relationships took a hit. In addressing their new area of focus, which is need-oriented evangelism, they will need to give attention to the "how to" by strengthening that area with a greater sensitivity to relationships and a deeper dependence on God in the process.
5. The survey helps the pastor and leaders think of ministry in terms of process.
In his letter to the church in Ephesus Paul wrote, "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:12-14)
When Paul speaks of equipping he is talking about a training process. A process that the KJV refers to as perfecting the saints for ministry. NCD helps the church think though and answer the following questions:
- What is our process for multiplying leaders throughout the church?
- What is our process for equipping people in evangelism?
- What is our process for stimulating spiritual formation in our new believers and faithful followers?
- What is our process for promoting healthy relationships throughout the church?
- What is our process for launching small groups?
- What is our process for deploying people into ministry and service?
- What is our process for insuring that our worship services are inspirational?
Bonus Reason for Embracing NCD
Most churches have a weakness that they tend to ignore; they want to grow further in the area of their strengths.
To say "build on your strengths" as a universal rule is misleading. A church must build on its strengths and deal with its weaknesses. No church can do without any of those eight quality areas.
A church's weak area may be evangelism, for example. If they are good in prayer, they tend to go on with prayer. But they should direct more spiritual energy towards evangelism.
It's like a human body. If you have problems with your heart and need surgery, the doctor cannot say, "You have a nice voice. Focus on singing." You need heart surgery first. Then you can build on your strengths. Building up your weak points is the only healthy rule. HT
To learn how to get started with Natural Church Development and enjoy the May Discount choose one of the following options.