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Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches
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Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Acquaint yourself with NCD principles by reading this book. Natural Church Development presents research from around the world showing how eight quality characteristics appear to be shared by healthy, growing churches.
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Churchsmart Resources
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Schwarz is the founder of an international organization that assists churches in growing. Unlike other books that state their methods, and claim them to be both biblical and universally effective, his organization takes a very statistical approach. Using a proprietary survey instrument, Schwarz surveyed tens of thousands of churches (both healthy and unhealthy, growing and declining) and analyzed the data to determine what characteristics were common among growing, healthy churches. He found 8 m ...more
Jon Barr
This was a challenging read. At first, I found it too jargon-laden. That feeling never really faded, but I began to enjoy it much more when the author introduced the statistical analysis.

My biggest takeaway: rather than focusing on either your strengths or working to improve your weaknesses, USE your strengths to improve your weaknesses.
Brian King
Well, the book does seem to have some truths in it, but my problem is that it seems like a 128 page infomercial for other Christian Scharz products. They want to sell their tools for measuring the 8 areas and they want to see their tools for each of those areas along with leader guides, etc.
The best of the worst part of Church Health. Very well done research using a HORRIBLE set of assumptions. They did their science right, they just didn't do their thinking right.

So basically it's how to be a "perfect church" according tot he authors' ideals. Nothing about the poor, nothing about the future. Just the same, basic 8 values.

ENOUGH!! Stop publishing this stuff! Thousands of dollars and hours spent trying to make churches be the kinds of churches the authors want to go to. Geesh!
For the most part, I enjoyed this book. It is helpful for me to read research and models such as those contained in this book from time to time to challenge my current thinking. With that said, at times Schwartz seems to over-extending his natural/organic metaphor for church growth. In some ways, he also appears to become overly fascinated with his research and resultant system. Still, overall, a good - and quite quick - read.
Ryan Fisher
This was a really good book although it got overly technical in the middle. The research and premise are very solid though and make it a great resource for church coaching and overall health/design. It starts and ends very strong.
Jeff Noble
Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches by Christian A. Schwarz (?)
Interesting and should be applied. Long and boring and technical.
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