P&G
Planting New Congregations
& Growing Healthy Churches
MD Training
February 2008
The Harvest is Plentiful…
Imagination =
2
Success
Imagination is more
important than
knowledge.
Knowledge is limited.
Imagination encircles the
world.
A. Einstein
If You Could Build A
Healthy Church…
• What characteristics and/or activities
would be absolutely essential?
• What would a visitor remember most
about your church?
• How would you invest the resources of
people, time, money, and energy?
• What would make your church grow?
Our Vision is to Make
Disciples Who Are…
Biblically based - Vision driven Mission minded – Community focused Culturally relevant – Ethnically diverse Cutting edge – Well equipped – Healthy Vibrant – Generous – Growing…
…And Committed to the Mission and
Ministry of Jesus Christ!
ELCA-EOCM Mission Statement
Marked with the
cross of Christ forever,
we are claimed, gathered and sent for the
sake of the world.
The Great Commission
And Jesus came and said to them, "All
authority in heaven and on earth has been
given to me. Go therefore and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to
obey everything that I have commanded
you. And remember, I am with you always,
to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Great Commandment
You shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, with all your soul, with all your
mind, and with all your strength. The
second is this: You shall love your
neighbor as yourself. There is no other
commandment greater than these (Mark
12:30-31).
Our Mission…
It’s the VERBS that are important!
GO
BAPTIZE
TEACH
REMEMBER
LOVE…
A New Look at “Doing” Church
Even as the world changes,
God’s purpose remains the same
God’s work to bring about the Kingdom – Renew & Reconcile the world
Reign of
God
Church
Church called to
participate in God’s
work
Witness and
engagement
The Changing World
The “old” world
“Normal”
people go to church
“Normal” people go to church
The OLD Church is:
A Building
A Pastor
Enough laity to pay the bills
An Organization
The “new” world
We are Resident Aliens!
The New Church: A Missionary
Outpost equipping and sending
Christians into the world
Don’t become so welladjusted to your culture that
you fit into it without even
thinking. Instead, fix your
attention on God. You’ll be
changed from the inside out
(Romans 12:2).
An Organism:
The Body of Christ
The Evolving/New Church:
From Organization to Organism
Laity are sent into the world
“Communities of care”
“Missionaries of grace”
Flat Line . . .
18,000,000
Southern Baptist
16,000,000
14,000,000
12,000,000
10,000,000
United Methodist
8,000,000
Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America
6,000,000
4,000,000
Church of the Latter-day Saints
Episcopal
Assemblies of God
2,000,000
United Church of Christ
0
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
Source: Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, NCCC. Prepared by Research and Evaluation, Winter 2006.
Sunday School . . .
1 ,6 0 0 ,0 0 0
1 ,5 1 3 ,8 3 3
1 ,4 0 0 ,0 0 0
1 ,2 0 0 ,0 0 0
1 ,1 4 5 ,6 2 8
1 ,0 0 7 ,7 7 4
1 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0
8 0 0 ,0 0 0
Attendance
7 8 7 ,5 3 5
6 4 9 ,9 2 1
6 0 0 ,0 0 0
4 0 0 ,0 0 0
2 0 0 ,0 0 0
0
1970
1980
1990
2000
Source: Annual Congregational Reports, ELCA. Prepared by Research and Evaluation, Winter 2006.
2004
Why Do We Need to Reach Out?
• 120,000,000+ people in this country are
without a Christian faith community!
• The U.S. is the world's fourth (some say
third) largest mission field.
• Some communities have an un-churched
population as high as 75 - 90%.
Mission Focus…
• What are the greatest challenges and
opportunities facing the church today?
• Share with 2-3 other people
• Share with the group
What’s That?
NATURAL
CHURCH
DEVELOPMENT
International Research Project
•
•
•
•
•
•
1,000 churches
32 countries
5 continents
18 languages
31,000 participants
4.2 million
responses
…ONE
CONCLUSION!
Healthy Churches…
are Growing Churches!
Growing a Healthy Church:
Natural Church Development – Key Questions…
What church growth principles are
true, regardless of church
culture, size, and theological
persuasion?
Why are some churches declining
in growing areas?
Why are some churches growing
in declining areas?
NCD Is…
• A Strategy of Hope
• A Different Way of Thinking About Church
and Church Growth
• A Long-Term Strategy
• A Slow-Motion Revival
• A Focus on PRINCIPLES – Not Program
• A Way to Regularly and Accurately
Measure the Health of a Congregation
NCD Is NOT…
• A “Silver-Bullet” to Guarantee Growth
• A Substitute for Spiritual Leadership
• An “Excuse” for Not having a Contextual Vision,
a Strategic Plan, and Using (or trusting) Your
Own Spiritual Gifts in Ministry
– One Size DOES NOT Fit All!
– You’re no Mike Foss and neither am I!
• A “Slick” Way to Grow Disciples Where There is
No Vision
• A Short-Term, Quick Fix
The “ALL-BY-ITSELF” Principle
The Kingdom of God is like this: a farmer goes out
and scatters seed upon the ground. When the
farmer is done working, the farmer goes to bed at
night and gets up by day. Lo and behold, the seed
sprouts and grows and the old farmer doesn’t
have a clue what’s going on!
The earth produces crops – all-by-itself – first the
blade, then the head, and then the mature grain.
When the time is right, the farmer cranks up the
tractor because the harvest has come (Mark 4:2629 – RGV – Revised Gary Version).
The NCD Survey
• A diagnostic tool for implementing the NCD
paradigm
• As assessment of ministry strengths and
growth areas
• The Minimum Factor – a focal point for growth
The Minimum Barrel
Need-Oriented
Raising the quality of the minimum
factor
Evangelism
often results in quantitative growth
Minimum
Factor
Quality
Characteristics
The NCD Cycle
The Quality Growth
Cycle is a strategic
process that
provides a
framework for
action.
The NCD Cycle
Phase 6: Evaluate and Repeat
Phase 5: Implement & monitor
Phase 1: Prepare for Survey
Phase 4: Develop Action Plan
Phase 2: Do the Survey
Phase 3: Analyze Survey Results
The Eight Quality
NCD Characteristics
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Empowering
Gift-oriented
Passionate
Effective
Inspiring
Holistic
Contextual
Loving
Leadership
Ministry
Spirituality
Structures
Worship
Small Groups
Evangelism
Relationships
The Adjective is the key!
Building Healthy Churches
1. Good, Healthy, Mission Leaders (clergy and
lay) are key!
• Best Plan + Poor leadership = Failure.
No Plan + No Leaders = CHAOS!
• Healthy Mission Leaders are:
Grounded in Faith & Growing in Grace
Centered on God’s direction/agenda
Foster good & gentle change
Profile of A “Mission Leader”
Visionary
Self-motivated
Shares Ownership & Leadership
Relationship (Team) Builder
Relates to the Un/De-churched
Family Support & Self-Care
Profile of A “Mission Leader”
Commitment to Church Growth
Good at Building Group Cohesiveness
Utilizes the “Giftedness” of Others
Responsive to the Community
Flexible, Adaptable, and Resilient
Public Display of Faith & Faith Practices
Building Healthy Churches
2. Clear Sense of Purpose/Vision:
– Congregation’s self-understanding of
what God has called us to BE & DO
– Our focus is on the world...
…Not on the church!
The Wisdom of Yogi Berra:
If you don’t know where you are
going, chances are you will end
up somewhere else!
Healthy Churches
3. Willingness to Change…
• The only person who likes change is…
a wet baby!
– Change is tough work
– Focusing on mission will lay the
groundwork for good change
– If there’s no change, better check and see
if the people are still breathing!
Dealing with Change:
Dissatisfaction + Vision + Action > Costs
• Dissatisfaction – people don’t change what
they think is perfect
• Vision – people need to see a good
alternative to what is
• Action – people need to see progress
• Costs – the price of change is grief,
conflict and discomfort. Weigh the cost
carefully – If the cost is too high, people
will rebel!
Healthy Churches:
A Working Lutheran Definition
• 8.5 Quality
Characteristics
– NCD 8 Quality
Characteristics enhanced
with an eye for justice
• “Mission Musts”
– Purpose (Mission of Christ)
– Willingness to Change
(Mind of Christ)
– Ecclesiology (Connection
to the whole Body of
Christ)
• Foundation is Christ
Bloom Where You’re Planted!
Plant Where You Will Bloom!
Pray the Lord of the harvest
to send workers (you) into
the harvest field!
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Starting Healthy Congregations