Friday, May 16, 2008

Natural Church Development

Dr. David Daubert was the featured presenter at the 2008 Academy of Parish Clergy Annual Meeting. Below is a description of the Natural Church Development program and contact information.


Churches have a tendency to become focused on fruit - growing attendance, dynamic programs, funded budgets, expanding facilities. In this pursuit, it is often forgotten that the root produces the fruit. Abundant fruit can only grow from a healthy root system.

Natural Church Development provides a reliable survey tool for measuring the health of your church in eight critical areas. These Quality Characteristics have proven themselves essential in building healthy churches.
--Empowering Leadership
--Gift-oriented Ministry
--Passionate Spirituality
--Functional Structures
--Inspiring Worship Services
--Holistic Small Groups
--Need-oriented Evangelism
--Loving Relationships

All eight of the Quality Characteristics are needed for a healthy church. Just as a person cannot live by bread alone, a church cannot grow to health on any one quality.

Natural Church Development also relies on six principles of growth to facilitate the health and growth in these quality areas:

--Energy transformation

These six principals are often referred to as Biotic Principles because they release the church's ability to grow all by itself. Together, these eight qualities and six Biotic Principles provide potent tools for bringing health and growth to your church.

Natural Church Development and the Church Growth Movement have large areas of overlap, yet are different. One of the major differences between the two can be highlighted in the area of quantitative versus qualitative goal setting. In NCD the quality of a church is the root, the quantitative growth the fruit. Growth in quantity is not the strategic goal of NCD, but a natural consequence of a healthy church.

Dr. David Daubert, a consultant in NCD, was the major presenter as the Academy of Parish Clergy's 2008 Annual Conference (Cleveland, OH, April 29-May1).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Academy of Parish Clergy -- 2008 Book of the Year

The Academy of Parish Clergy, Inc. announces the 2008 Book of the Year Award to be God’s Ambassadors: A History of the Christian Clergy in America by E. Brooks Holifield (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company). The Book of the Year Award is given to the best book published for parish ministry in the previous year.

In addition, the Reference Book of the Year Award is given to Empire: The Christian Tradition, New Readings of Classical Theologians ed. by Kwok Pui-lan, Don H. Compier, and Joerg Rieger (Fortress Press).

These awards will be made at the Annual Conference of the Academy, April 22-23, 2008, at the Jesuit Retreat House, Cleveland, OH.

In addition to the Book of the Year, the Academy has selected the following books as the Top Ten Books for Parish Ministry published in 2007.

E Brooks Holifield. God’s Ambassadors: A History of the Christian Clergy in America. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company -- Book of the Year

The remainder of the list, alphabetically by author:

Gerald W. Calabash, Editor. Just Policing, Not War: An Alternative Response to World Violence. Liturgical Press.

Pamela Couture Child Poverty: Love, Justice, and Social Responsibility. Chalice Press.

John Dominic Crossan, God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now. HarperSanFrancisco Publishers. -- reviewed by Robert Cornwall, Winter 2007, Sharing the Practice.

Antony Flew. There Is A God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. HarperOne Publishers.

Eugene Peterson The Jesus Way: A Conversation of the Ways That Jesus Is The Way. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

Alister McGrath. Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution - A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First. HarperOne Publishers.

Ben Quash and Michael Ward, Heresies and How To Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe. Hendrickson Publishers.

G. Lloyd Rediger. The Toxic Congregation: How To Heal the Soul of Your Church. Abingdon Press.

Larry Witham. A City Set On A Hill: How Sermons Changed the Course of American History. HarperOne Publishers.