What is 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.

When a flower doesn bloomNCD 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.

NCD is not a ‘quick fix’ solution….. but then there is no such thing!

At the heart of the process is a sophisticated and detailed diagnostic tool, the NCD Church Survey, which complies with international statistical standards for accuracy, validity and reliability. Annual (or regular) surveying helps to provide an accurate up-to-date ‘snapshot’ of the health of the church on an ongoing basis. Surveys are completed by key people within the life of the church, and enable the leadership to assess the church’s development and focus priorities for the year ahead.