“What are the essential qualities of a healthy growing church, regardless of culture and theological persuasion?”

Christian A. Schwarz and a team from Institute for Church Development in Germany sought to answer this question by conducting a three-year study, where 4.2 million people from over 1,000 churches within thirty-two countries responded. In today’s episode, Merle Shenk and Larry Kreider discuss the findings—known as the eight essential qualities of a healthy church—that are documented in Natural Church Development.

8 Essential Qualities:

  1. Empowering leadership
  2. Gift-oriented ministry
  3. Passionate spirituality
  4. Functional structures
  5. Inspiring worship service
  6. Holistic small groups
  7. Need-oriented evangelism
  8. Loving relationships

Quotable Quotes:

  • “If you understand the family, you understand the Church.”
  • “You don’t have to have all the answers. You just have to be a Holy Spirit hinge.”
  • “People don’t want to be a project.”

Mentioned in Today’s Podcast:

For more information about Larry Kreider, his books, daily devotionals, small group resources, or other teachings, visit dcfi.org/larry-kreider.