Natural Church Development





Natural Church Development

  • Is based on an international research project

  • Applies "systems" thinking to the church

  • Stimulates the leadership of a congregation to identify and discover solutions to their problems, utilizing their own unique personnel, gifts, abilities, resources, goals, values and desires.  

  • Utilizes a scientific survey/assessment to measure how well a congregation is doing in eight essential qualities of church life for details

  • Is a long-term strategic process to improve the health of a congregation


International Research Project

  • Conducted by Christian Schwartz

  • In

    • 1,000 congregations

    • 32 countries

    • 18 languages

  • On 6 continents



Grows churches naturally

  • Views the church as a living system

  • Looks for numerical growth and health

  • Applies principles of Scripture and Nature to the congregation

  • Stimulates healthy growth, but leaves the results up to God

Does not view the church like a machine.  

Natural Church Development doesn't believe:

  • The congregational system can be broken down into and worked on as individual, isolated and independent parts

  • Fixing one problem area will automatically solve all the problems a congregation is experiencing

  • A solution that work in one congregation can easily be replicated and made to work in another

  • Inter-relationships and feelings are unimportant


It is not a

  • Cure-all guaranteeing growth

  • Substitute for spiritual leadership

  • Replacement for a unique vision

  • Means to unify a divided congregation

  • Short-term solution

  • Sociological solutions divorced from scripture or theology

  • Top-down set of instructions imposed upon the church membership by the leadership or a consultant

Survey Qualities Strategy Principles