At one of the annual NCD weekend conferences those present were asked to share what benefits are there for a Corps from engaging with NCD. Why is NCD worth their commitment?
Comments submitted from Corps Groups:
There’s no ‘down side’ to trying it. You stand to lose nothing and the promised gains are high.
It gives you a focus for your energies. It gives a guilt-free way to “have other things be”.
2nd or later surveys help you to see what God has done.
As a long term approach it breaks the cycle of following short term programme (either no more ‘what’s next syndrome or it gives a structured way to ask ‘what’s next’)
It helps to quantify your church health.
Focuses the corps on things that they can do rather than on the things that are God’s job.
NCD repositions the fulcrum point of ministry for officer-driven and puts it (back?) into the hands of the corps.
NCD can be understood both intellectually and instinctively.
It holds up to the intensely academic scrutiny of some folk and it feels right. It can easily be grasped by those who live by their ‘gut’ reactions’.
It can bring the corps to a realization of where they are (health of corps).
Brings people to work together as a team.
An understanding of what gifts people have.
Can reveal what corps is doing right and maybe where they are going wrong.
Offers potential for growth
Offers potential for transformation (corps and people)
Shows a deeper commitment
Guidelines for mission
3 surveys completed showing areas we are good at and portrays areas we need to focus on.
Celebrated good things then set up a health team to lead and encourage others and the application of plans to address the low points highlighted from survey.
8 quality characteristics do address all the aspects which need to be present in a growing church
It helps the office/leader to involve others in the decision making of corps activities and taking part in worship meetings.
It provides feedback to CO, Corps council, NCD health team.
NCD process is positive and will work as long as there is a consistency in leadership understanding.
Evidence available from all over the world/scientific proven.
The resources are helpful and easy to work with
An approach for being church which can apply for any denomination, traditional or contemporary
It engages other people than the leadership
It helps the corps to stay focused on goals and objectives
It helps a corps fellowship to be intentional in programme and fellowship
The Trinitarian approach makes room for ‘everybody’.
Brings together everything you want to do and helps you focus on the most critical area for this time.
It is affirming for corps folk to hear what they are good at
Offers multiple approaches to suit different people in strengthening the minimum factor
Results are presented in different formats to suit multiple learning styles
You can start the process at any stage of corps life
Solid, biblical basis, firmly tested and proven across all cultures, denominations and SA context
Not programme based or driven
It takes the pressure off corps leaders and members
Reminds us of the truth of Jesus’ works ‘ I will build my church’ – brings it to the forefront
Associated tools work at corps, small group and individual level
Universally applicable principles rather than context or culture specific ideas
It works as we see individuals growing spiritually in knowledge, passion and maturity
We are beginning to see the corps grow numerically
It is an effective, structure to work with
Takes away guilt of not doing the other 7 quality characteristics
The understanding of where we ‘leak’
Can get really specific ie. minimum factor of ‘minimum factor’
Working on one specific area actually leads to quality improvements in other areas
Based on tested reality not just opinion
Because it works
It made us look at ourselves as a church family and as individuals
It made us thing about things we either ignored, took for granted or assumed.
It showed us where we were strong and some of that surprised us
It showed us what we needed to improve and that also surprised us
When we worked on that area, things did get better and as we went further into the process, we got stronger and we grew (22% in 4 years)
It was because it was properly established
It has a proven track record
This is a process which originated outside of SA and we then bought into once it was established and working
An accurate and honest picture of our corps and how healthy we are
It helps us see where we are not so strong and which areas are important (ie. Small groups)
It works hand in hand with our Mission Development Plan
Once our congregation ‘get’ the basics, they usually see the benefits
Its open ended. We always have something to work on
Seeing the changes and what God is doing feels great and makes you want more
Comments submitted by individuals:
It’s biblical, hard to argue with.
The corps opinions on itself not imposed by leaders
NCD can fit into any situation
NCD has enabled the corps to have good conversations about where we have been and the direction we need to go in.
The opportunity to reflect on who we are and what God wants us to be.
Brings a corps together with a common aim (goals)
Gives focus for the CO.
Generally people want to do well and see results
Opens the eyes of the corps to where they are at as a group rather than from personal perspective.
Releases potential – allows people to explore their own contribution, gifts and service within corps
Health team provides opportunity to feed into life of corps
Focus on growth away from busy programme
Must be able to continually monitor and assess health and effectiveness
Provides opportunity to assess the things you are good at and the things you are not
Offers the opportunity to assess individual’s spiritual health
The growth of small groups because of NCD process
Development of your people, providing leadership opportunities
Improvement of the awareness of others within the fellowship – who they are/what their needs are
Provides a wide audience with opportunity to input into how they see their church
All of the above are points worthy of further reflection!