Natural Church Development has the potential to Identify the Church’s Weaknesses, Obstacles, Opportunities:
How can knowing our weaknesses be of value to us?
If the NCD survey really is a health test for a church, the Minimum Factor is not simply ‘a weakness’ that we can ignore while we concentrate on ‘playing to our strengths!’ It is difficult—in some cases, impossible—to continue achieving our purpose as a church when we as a church are unwell. Instead, it becomes very important that we give attention to addressing our ’weakness’ in order to become healthy or whole. When we look at what the NCD survey actually measures, we become aware of the inadequacy of ignoring the Minimum Factor and simply concentrating on our Maximum Factor.
The barrel illustration (above) portrays exactly how such activity totally fails to help. When we focus on the Maximum Factor (the longest stave) and seek to do it even better (make it longer), the church is not helped to advance the mission (the barrel fails to hold any more water. It is only when we identify the specific health issues in our church and take definite steps designed to address them that we may expect, with some degree of confidence the blessing of our God. When we know our weakness and our strengths (as the NCD survey result reveals), we can find ways of using the strengths to address our weakness. When personal health is under fire, our body has mechanisms that automatically send strong healthy cells to fight whatever is threatening. Unfortunately, in these days, the church does not do this automatically; so leaders must have appropriate information to intentionally and deliberately address such issues.