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

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  7 reviews
book, used religion inspriation
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
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 (?)
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