How NCD can help your church: Closing the Back Door

Natural Church Development has the potential to Give some Significant Clues about the Church’s ‘Back Door’ that needs to be Closed

NCD tells us that every church is unique, every church is different. Therefore every church has a different ‘back door.’


In the church above, the ‘back door’ has something to do with the area of Holistic Small Groups. We do not have to worry about planning to improve any other aspect of church life, except as it may impact HSG. This particular aspect of NCD is of special interest and value to small churches with limited resources.

As we plan to close our back door, we must also keep in the mind the fact that the survey measures the adjective. Increasing the number of small groups may be of no help whatever. Improving the quality of the groups we have is more likely to address our health issues. This is the Basic Profile.

With the detailed information now available from the NCD survey, we can become even more specific as we address church ‘back door’ problems. For example, seeing the church in terms of fellowship, service and faith is one of the longest standing ways of defining the essentials of church life. Based on your church’s NCD survey responses, the diagram below indicates which of these aspects are more or less emphasized in your church right now and therefore which one comes more naturally in church life and which does not.


NCD research strongly indicates that balance across these three areas is one of the essential keys to long-term sustainable healthy church growth.

The solid yellow line is our church now; the dotted yellow line is where we were at the previous survey; the other dotted line is a balanced church. So the task of leaders is to help the people increase their faith.

Receiving this information doesn’t make the work any easier to close the back door; it simply identifies the area where the back door is. And that is always helpful.

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