The Eight Quality Characteristics

These are the “quality characteristics” which Schwarz and Schalk found. You will notice that in each of these characteristics we emphasize the adjective. Every church has leadership. Not all leadership is empowering. Every church expresses some sort of spirituality. In some churches this spirituality is more passionate than in others.

The Natural Church Development process steers a congregation to improve the adjectives describing each characteristic.

  1. Empowering Leadership
    Key Question: Is the ministry of the leaders focused on equipping other Christians to serve?
    Motto: Ephesians 4:12

    (God gave leaders) “...to prepare God.s people for work of service to build up the body of Christ.”
  2. Gift-Centered Ministry
    Key Question: Does the ministry of the church reflect the gifts of the members and do members serve in areas which match their gifts?
    Motto: 1st Peter 4:10

    “Each one should use whatever gift he or she has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
  3. Passionate Spirituality
    Key Question: Is the life of congregation members characterized by prayer, enthusiasm and boldness?
    Motto: Romans 12:11-12

    “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”
  4. Effective Structures
    Key Question: Do the official and unwritten rules and ways of doing things in our congregation help us do what God wants us to do today?
    Motto: Mark 2:27

    “The Sabbath was created for people, not people for the Sabbath.”
  5. Inspiring Worship
    Key Question: Does the worship service energize those who attend to serve God?
    Motto: Acts 4:24, 31

    “They raised their voices together in prayer to God… After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
  6. Holistic Small Groups
    Key Question: Are the small groups dedicated to answering the true questions and meeting the real needs of those who attend in a way that touches every part of their lives?
    Motto: Acts 2:42, 45, 46

    They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer… They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need… They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.”
  7. Need-Oriented Evangelism
    Key Question: Are the things you do in evangelism designed to address the felt-needs of those you seek to reach?
    Motto: 1st Corinthians 9:22

    “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
  8. Loving Relationships
    Key Question: Are the relationships among people in this church characterized by a high degree of affection and acts of love?
    Motto: John 13:34-35

    “A new command I give you: ‘Love each other.’ As I love you, so you must love each other. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love each other.”

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