Before launching into the growth areas brought to light by your NCD Survey, it may be that what you or your leadership most need right now is some encouragement. A breath of fresh air if you like. Fortunately, exactly the same survey that indicates your church's growth areas also evaluates its strengths with just as much rigor.
Spending some time exclusively focusing on the current strengths of your church should not be viewed as some kind of proud, self-congratulation exercise. The very core of NCD is about moving into the most natural partnership with God possible. Your church's current strengths are where that is happening best. So, acknowledging and celebrating the areas that come most naturally to you as a church, is in fact, an act of thanksgiving and praise. Put another way, it is about valuing the God who has grown that fruit in our midst, and honoring the people who have partnered with him (some for many years) in bringing that positive culture and fruitfulness about. We shouldn't really challenge those influential people about the growth areas of the church, without making sure they are shown respect for their part in establishing the strengths.
So take some time, on your own and with the leadership of the church, to consider your highest results. There will no doubt be some people who will immediately want to move to the lowest results to analyse and work out plans of action. However, if you feel some time of affirmation is needed first, let those people know that very soon we will move to the challenge areas and will end up spending the majority of time on those points. But for now, we should pause to consider what we already have. Start with the themes and quality characteristics that come most naturally to your church as seen through the Summary Guide and then through the Story Guide (Download your Summary or Story Guide if you prefer to print it off).
Click the button and consider the following questions:
- How does this strength display itself in our everyday church life? What does it look like, sound like, feel like, taste like or smell like?
- Who are the people, present and past, who have partnered with God to make this a strength within our church? How will we affirm them for what they have done?
- What kind of people, who are not yet part of our church, would most benefit from this strength? How do we help them to experience it?
If this is a repeat NCD Survey, there may be more encouragement to be found. The most obvious encouragement is that your Status Guide might be showing signs of progress since your last survey, or perhaps even across a number of steadily improving previous surveys. If that is the case, consider exactly the same kind of questions as above but relate them to the greatest points of progress (Download your Status Guide if you prefer to print it off).
Even if this is a repeat survey without signs of overall progress or even signs that the health of your church may have fallen somewhat, there may still be reason for some encouragement. Given that since your previous survey, work has been done and some decisions have been made, the positive effects of some of that may be evident in the Highest 10 Changes (page 26) of your Status Guide. Spend some time considering what those changes may be linked to and again, see if you are able to affirm those who helped to bring about those signs of new life. Sure, it would've been better to see progress in your church's minimum factor and overall results, but those Highest 10 Changes are an indicator that there is some capacity for change. Now you just need to focus the key influencers in this next phase in order to build on that.