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Natural Church Development

What are the Characteristics of a Healthy, Growing Church?

According to research by Natural Church Development in over 50,000 churches around the world, there are eight quality characteristics in all healthy, growing churches, whatever culture surrounds them. Pay attention to the adjective for each one; that's what really makes the difference!

  • Empowering Leadership

    Leaders, clergy and laypeople, volunteer and staff, consider one of their most important roles to be building up other Christians to become all that God wants them to be.

  • Gift-oriented Ministry

    God has gifted every Christian with talents and abilities, and healthy, growing churches help their members identify these gifts and integrate them into ministries in which their gifts can be used and grown.

  • Passionate Spirituality

    Although how passionate spirituality is expressed may differ widely in different churches, healthy, growing churches are full of people who live out their faith daily with commitment, fire and enthusiasm.

  • Functional Structures

    In healthy, growing churches, the structures of the church serve as a means to end, working to allow the work of the church to move forward.

  • Inspiring Worship

    Different churches worship in different styles, but in all healthy, growing churches, their members are inspired by the weekly worship; for folks in these churches, worship is "fun."

  • Holistic Small Groups

    Whether for fellowship, Christian education or to accomplish a task (a choir, committee or board), all churches have small groups. In healthy, growing churches, members of these groups find intimate community, practical help and spiritual interaction.

  • Needs-Oriented Evangelism

    In healthy, growing churches, the work of the members of the church to share their faith is based on the needs of the people with whom it is shared, not on the needs of the church.

  • Loving Relationships

    In healthy, growing churches, members feel that they are loved and valued, and the churches tend to be characterized by laughter and joy.

Each of these eight quality characteristics is directly related to both the qualitative and quantitative growth of every church. It is about health, and about growth