Three Benefits of Taking a Church Health Survey

By Gary Rohrmayer
Is your church stuck?  Growing a healthy church is more about process than intuition! Our experience has showed us over and over again that leaders can only grow a church so far on intuition and giftedness.  To get to a new level of growth they must embrace process, planning and feedback.

Here are three benefits of your church engaging in the Natural Church Development process.

1. It will close the gap between lay leaders and pastoral staff.
Pastors who are sold out to the cause of Christ think about ministry 24/7.  How much time do your committed lay leaders think about ministry in the local church?  As a lay person in my church, I now know the answer to that question.  Not as much as the pastor thinks!  This alone can cause a gap of misunderstanding.  What the pastor feels are the needs of the church are not necessarily what the congregation perceives.  The Natural Church Development Survey is a great way to close that gap of misunderstanding and bring more harmony and health into the church constructively.

I can't tell you how many times pastors have said, "My staff and I thought we knew what the weak systems were in our church,  but we were completely caught off guard by the results.  If we had gone in our own direction we would have wasted so much time, created confusion and addressed only our felt needs as staff and not the real needs of the congregation."

2. It will help you identify the weak system that needs to be addressed in your ministry from the perspective of your key leaders.
I am a big proponent of systems theory.  Too often we think we have a people problem, but we really have a systems problem. I define church systems as reproducible and an interconnected process by which the church actualizes its values and achieves its mission.

I believe every healthy church values leadership, evangelism, spiritual formation, service, loving relationships and small groups. So the question is, do you have a reproducible and interconnected process that:

  • empowers leaders into the harvest?
  • insures inspirational worship gatherings?
  • encourages evangelism throughout the community?
  • stimulates spiritual passion in every believer?
  • promotes healthy relationships in your community of faith?
  • connects people in healthy small groups?
  • deploys people into ministry?
  • builds organizational health?

The Natural Church Development Survey will help pinpoint the underdeveloped system that needs attention. Thus it gives you a starting point in your strategic planning process.

3. It reveals the real morale and needs of your key leaders and influencers in the church.
The quality side of ministry is so soft and subjective because it is based on people’s attitudes, feelings and perspectives. The NCD Survey can give you a true read on the morale of your key leaders.  For a church that scores a total average score in the 50s it has an above average morale.  For the church that scores below 50 they have a below average morale.  In my work the highest score I have seen is 77...not only is this church one of the fastest growing churches in our region, but also has a high level of optimism that fuels the growth.

From this sample profile we see that the key leaders and influencers in the church feel that the church is a great place to be with an average score of 57.  This is an above average health score which means that the quality of the services are in a healthy range.  They might be experiencing some level of numerical growth, but probably plateaued and are facing a growth barrier. NCD International reports that a church whose average score is 65 or above is experiencing numerical growth. 

What else can we learn from this snapshot?

Areas of Strengths: We see here that the leaders felt their church has a strong worship experience, high level of relational harmony, great sense of spiritual passion and good systems and structures.  

Areas for Focus: Here we see that the leadership system needs to be developed more fully.  What your leaders are communicating through this score is a need to be empowered for ministry, spiritual development, better delegation, clearer goals, stronger communication within the leadership structure, and more support in their ministries through coaching.

Pastor, if you struggle with the process side of ministry, Converge MidAmerica is here to help you.  May is church health month.  We are gearing up you and your church.  Check out our special NCD Complete Package for the month of May. 








Church Health, Gary Rohrmayer