As Church Health Month approaches this May, we are encouraging churches and church plants to establish a church health rhythm that will measure the quality of their ministry and evaluate the effectiveness of their missional activity.
Pastor Gary Ricci of New Hope Community in Round Lake, IL shared with us his experience in using the Natural Church Development survey and how it has shaped their ministry.
Converge: When did your church start doing the NCD process?
Gary Ricci: We have taken the NCD Survey three times - at the end of year 2, 4 and 6 of our church. (We are a 7 year old church plant).
Converge: What are some of the benefits your church experienced through the process?
Gary Ricci: We have used the results from the NCD to make strategic staffing decisions and shape the job descriptions of our current and new staff. Each time it helped us grow through a barrier we were experiencing as an organization. We saw problems more clearly and were able to respond more specifically and then measure if the problem had been addressed.
Converge: How have you benefited as a Pastor personally through the process?
Gary Ricci: It has allowed me to better articulate to our leadership the reasons behind the decisions we have made as a church and helped us share a common vision and plan for moving forward. It also resulted in me being able to work more from my areas of strength.
Converge: How has it impacted the health and growth of your church?
Gary Ricci: We grew from around 90 (before our first time taking NCD) to over 300 (About a year after taking it the third time)
Converge: What advice would you give other pastors who are considering doing the NCD process?
Gary Ricci: NCD protects you from making gut reaction decisions to problems you think you are seeing. It helps identify areas of improvements very specifically and address those with a plan that fits who you are. It has also helped us identify strengths we could celebrate and maximize for growth and given our leadership a common language to talk about areas of the ministry. I recommend you establish a consistent rhythm in taking the survey at least every 2 years.