Natural Church Development has the potential to Assist Leaders to Make Decisions that will Help their Church and not Hurt it!
Is it possible for leaders, doing something good, to unknowingly damage their church? That’s a big question. What leader would want to harm their church? But some—maybe many—are unwittingly making their own church sick! When leaders pour resources into the wrong area FOR THEIR CHURCH, they run the risk of doing serious damage (my personal conviction is that most churches in New Zealand are in this state and have been for some time)! Why are the many good things promoted by leaders so ineffective? They are doing good things, but the timing is wrong. What happens when we do the right thing at the wrong time? It is counter-productive. It works against us, that’s what happens!
Consider: Why do leaders use a given programme in their church? Why do they pursue any given course of ministry? There are a number of reasons. The course of action was advertised at a conference; or a pastor friend used it with some success; or they came across it on the internet and it looked to be exactly what they wanted.
I suggest these are not good reasons for embracing any course of action in a church.
But isn’t the indiscriminate use of NCD falling into the trap of possibly doing the right thing at the wrong time? Christian Schwarz says there is just one time the NCD survey should not be used; and that is when there is division in the church. In such a situation the first requirement is reconciliation.
Furthermore, NCD should be considered in terms of process, not programme; we must think principle, not programme; we think health and allow growth to take care of itself.
NCD can prevent such a situation from happening by simply identifying the area that should be addressed at this point in the church’s history.
We go to the doctor. The doctor runs some tests, asks some questions, and may then give us a prescription which is specific to us. We are warned against taking other people’s prescription medicine, yet churches do this all the time. Using the NCD survey is like taking your church to the doctor for a medical check-up. The survey result will give you a very accurate diagnosis of the health of your church.
Prescriptive planning just became easier.