Growing healthy churches

Church growth research and resources

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19

evidenceFrom Evidence to Action has been developed using and building on the findings of the Church Growth Research Programme which was summarised in From Anecdote to Evidence, published in January 2014.

The evidence provides an opportunity for the Church at all levels to respond and to consider what action may be needed to encourage growth.

Here you’ll find a guide to the findings and working materials based around some common factors which were found to be linked with growth. All the material on this site is designed to help those who want to reflect and act on these findings in whatever their context.

Natural Church Development (NCD)

NCD is a different way of thinking about the church, health and growth. Starting life in the mid-1990s as an extensive global research project involving churches of many different traditions and denominations on all continents, this has resulted in a range of ground-breaking publications and resources.

NCDNCD has discovered that church growth investment should focus on quality (health) rather than just quantity (numbers). When we do this, Jesus, as He always promised, builds His church, bringing numbers into the Kingdom.

At the heart of NCD is the Biblical picture of the church as a living organism, not just an organisation (albeit a spiritual one). Looking at the church ‘organically’ gives us a different perspective on what ‘growth’ means. The growth of organisms is dependent on their health, their capacity to reproduce, and how the individual ‘body parts’ interact. Organisms are grown, not built. They are nurtured, not assembled.

If church growth is about growing an organism, then the health (quality) of the church is going to have a direct impact on its size (quantity). If a church can become increasingly healthy over time, it is more likely and better able to reproduce disciples, ministries and eventually itself – planting new churches.

NCD helps you to think about growing your church as a healthy living organism. It is a long-term strategic process for progressively improving a church’s health. It is a process of continual improvement and development rather than a programme which, if followed and implemented to the letter, ‘guarantees’ a healthy church. It requires long-term commitment which is intentional and consistent.

Find out more:

Leading your Church into Growth (LyCiG)

LyCiG local is the ideal ‘next step’ for church leaders who want to get church growth principles and practice into the bloodstream of their own church communities. The resource is a follow-on programme for those who have been on a LyCiG residential course. LyCiG local is designed for use in small groups and the DVD based interactive sessions will stimulate, teach, equip and motivate church members of all ages to play their part in leading their church into growth.

There are nine main sessions, three for leaders, six for church members. The whole course comes to a joyful completion with a celebration event.

lycigLyCiG local aims to help churches

  • Learn key biblical teachings on growth
  • Discuss, question and apply these teachings to their own situations
  • Become inspired and motivated
  • Make decisions, implement plans and develop new ways of working
  • Resolve to stick with these plans, reviewing and adapting them as they go along.