Church Assessments

What does a Church Assessment consist of?

There are four steps:

  1. data collection
  2. data review and evaluation
  3. focus group meetings and interviews
  4. preparation and delivery of a report to the church

CB Northwest utilizes two tools for assessment. The first is Natural Church Development (NCD). This survey measures the presence (or absence) of eight quality characteristics in a local church. They are:

  • Empowering Leadership
  • Effective Structures
  • Inspiring Worship
  • Need-oriented Evangelism
  • Loving Relationships
  • Holistic Small Groups
  • Gift-based Ministry
  • Passionate Spirituality

The NCD Survey is taken by 30 church leaders/members who are engaged in the life and ministry of the church (Elders, Deacons, Sunday School teachers, ministry leaders, small group leaders, children's workers, etc.).

The second tool is an online survey that is open to every member and attendee of a local church. We encourage as many as possible to participate in this survey. It measures the perceived health of fifteen categories of ministry, church function and member involvement.

We also request a large body of historical data from the church.

When all the data has been collected, a team of 3-5 people read through all of it, and then meet to discuss findings. Several hours are given to this work. Key observations are noted, and potential focus groups are identified for further questions in order to verify or disprove the emerging conclusions. Once those focus groups have been interviewed, the team meets again and formulates a report. The report will consist of three major components: Affirmations, Significant Findings, and Recommendations.

That report is then delivered to the local church by a representative of CB Northwest.

The local church then decides whether to accept or reject the report and its recommendations.

Who should consider an assessment?

We believe there are at least three critical times in the life of a church when an assessment is extremely helpful:

  1. At a time of pastoral change
  2. In a season of church crisis
  3. For a healthy church seeking to identify any potential barriers to reaching the next level of ministry effectiveness

What does an assessment cost?

There are costs associated with the use of the NCD survey, with the significant amount of man-hours that are involved, plus travel to the church to present, explain, interview and deliver the report. The approximate cost is $3,000 inclusive. However, CB Northwest exists to serve local churches within the Covenant Community. So we will do all that we can to work with any contributing, Covenant Community church that is under financial constraints.

What are the steps involved in the whole assessment process?

  1. Site visit: Explain whole process to leadership and possibly to church body.
  2. Church sends letter of intent inviting CB Northwest to conduct assessment.
  3. Church fills out "Church Information Worksheet" and sends all requested information.
  4. Conduct NCD survey
  5. Do Online survey
  6. In-house review of survey results and data by CB Northwest. Determine Focus Groups to be interviewed.
  7. Conduct focus meetings and/or interviews on site.
  8. In-house analysis and development of report by CB Northwest.
  9. Set date for report delivery (usually to leadership, then to whole congregation).
  10. Deliver report.
  11. Congregational vote to accept or reject recommendations.

For more information

John Long
Director of Church Development
[email protected]