Natural Church Development

Eight Essential Qualities




Empowering Leadership

Ministry is shared by a multitude of leaders

Leaders are being developed, trained, nurtured and matured and then released into various ministries and services outside of the congregation itself

Leaders are casting out and striving to realize a vision

Leaders pro-actively lead change instead of allowing circumstances, crises or passing enthusiasm rule their affairs.

Gift-Oriented Ministry

Basing your mission and services, not upon tradition and committee or denominational programming, but rather upon the gifts, desires, and passions of the congregational members, along with the needs of your mission group and neighborhood around the congregation.

Matching jobs and ministries to members’ gifts, interests and passions, not filling slots in an organizational chart

Providing necessary coaching, training and support for people in ministry

Perceiving all work by all the people as being significant

Passionate Spirituality

Having a burning desire to be with and please God

Experiencing God in a life-changing and life-sustaining way

Recognizing God's personal call upon one’s own life

Consistently living out one’s faith commitment

Enjoying the presence of God

Practicing the spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, worship, meditation, and service

Being enthusiastic about one faith, God and the Church

Having a contagious faith

Functional Structures

Making sure that all the ways and means of congregational life and ministry are fulfilling their purposes and are in agreement with the congregation's core values, vision, beliefs and mission

Planning ahead 

Evaluating expected outcomes, programs and leaders

Releasing creativity instead of hindering with bureaucracy

Managing change to increase fruitfulness

Ceasing out-dated programs

Inspiring Worship

Providing life-transforming experiences

Connecting to God and one-another in authentic relationships

Gaining joy, enthusiasm, energy, encouragement and action plans in living out and sharing one's faith

Being culturally relevant to participants

Intentionally planning well-thought-out, unified and smooth flowing services

Holistic Small Groups

Encourages spiritual growth

Develops authentic and open Christian relationships

Provides mutual help, respect and care for one another

Releases God-given gifts

Serves others

Respects guests

Develops new leaders

Intentionally divides to create new groups

Need-Oriented Evangelism

Finding needs and meeting them

Developing authentic relationships with the unchurched

Making the church attractive and relevant

Nurturing new converts

Communicating the love and grace of God

Encouraging faith sharing by all members

Integrating the mission with all programs and groups

Loving Relationships

Developing joy and trust

Giving affirmation and encouragement

Meeting one another's needs

Sticking together through difficulties

Going beyond friendliness and politeness to deep, abiding and open friendships

Being truly known and knowing others

Speaking truth in love

Using conflict as a means for growth

Assimilating new members


Definition Survey Strategy Principles