What is NCD? (Natural Church Development)

A different way of thinking about growth

Natural Church Development (NCD) is a paradigm – a way of thinking about church growth. Growth should be about quality (health) and not just quantity (numbers). In fact NCD suggests that quality should take priority over quantity in church growth thinking.

At the heart of the paradigm is the Scriptural picture of the church as a living organism, not just an organization (albeit a spiritual one). Looking at the church “organically” gives us a different per-spective on what “growth” means. The growth of organisms focuses on their health, their capacity to reproduce, and how the individual ‘body’ parts interact. They are grown, not built. They are nurtured, not assembled.

The NCD paradigm says that if church growth is about growing an organism, the health (quality) of the organism will have a direct impact on its size (quantity). If a church becomes increasingly healthy over time, it is more likely and better able to reproduce disciples, ministries and eventually itself.

How many times have church leaders counted the numbers of people in Sunday services but really have no true sense whether the members of the church community are growing to greater spiritual maturity and contributing all they can to God’s work? Is size really a true measure of health?

The NCD paradigm helps you think about growing your church as a healthy, living organism.

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