Guessing or Assessing?

By Gary Rohrmayer

Do you know why the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans over 12 feet off-center at the top? The builders failed to adequately calculate the depth of foundation needed to support the weight of the building in that specific soil.

Today we are a lot smarter, right? Maybe. In 1967 the construction of the 99 story Hancock Tower in Chicago was halted at the 20th floor because the soil settlement was greater than could withstand the weight of the full building. So construction stopped, and the owner went bankrupt, while they came up with an engineering fix to the problem. If they had not taken time to measure during construction, the famous Hancock Tower would have been the “Leaning and Sinking Tower of Chicago.” Timely measurement prevented costly failure.

You see, accurate calculations are the foundation of solid construction. That is true whether you are building skyscrapers or building churches. When it comes to building strong churches, timely measurement prevents costly failure.

So in your church leadership, are you guessing or assessing?

Guessing results in small churches with low impact and short lifespans. But if you want your church to reach new heights, if you want it to grow deep and wide; if you want your church to last long; if you want your church to withstand the typhoons and tornadoes of spiritual assault; you need a carefully constructed foundation based on accurate assessment not guesstimates.

That is where the NCD survey can help your church. It moves you and your leaders past the squishy ground of subjective opinions to the firm ground of hard data. Statistical data tested by over 80,000 churches in over 70 countries.

“But I already know what my church is like and what it needs.” Maybe. But does everyone agree with you? Wouldn’t it be nice to have some data to convince those who disagree with you?

I know from 40 years in church work that I can have blind spots, misperceptions and misinterpretations. Every time I used an impartial church assessment tool I found out things I didn’t know about my church. Things that surprised me. Things that could be improved.

And apparently I am not alone. NCD (Natural Church Development) reports that after 15 years experience they have discovered less than 30% of pastors can accurately identify their church's greatest weakness that needs to be addressed to improve the health of the church. That means 70% of us need some outside help at assessment.

Help is available. Converge MidAmerica can administer an NCD survey for your congregation and provide personalized follow-up coaching to your church leaders, all for just $175. Click here to check our website for more information on NCD. Or contact Dick Loizeaux or Jim Lacy.

Build a church that can grow both deep and wide, while reaching new heights and leaving a powerful legacy. For the glory of God and the sake of God’s people, let’s stop guessing. Start assessing.

Learn more about the Natural Church Development Journey

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Gary Rohrmayer, Natural Church Development