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!