Church Health Assessments
Church Venture Northwest is committed to helping churches pursue healthy ministry, so the Gospel is effectively shared with the surrounding community. We offer Church Health Assessments as a tool to help churches evaluate their ministries, allow a professional, third-party perspective to speak into the findings of that evaluation, and provide recommendations that may help improve the church's overall health for the sake of the Gospel.
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:
- At a time of pastoral change
- In a season of church crisis
- For a healthy church seeking to identify any potential barriers to reaching the next level of ministry effectiveness
What does a Church Assessment consist of?
- data collection
- data review and evaluation
- focus group meetings and interviews
- preparation and delivery of a report to the church
Church Venture Northwest utilizes two tools for assessment. The first is Natural Church Development (NCD). This survey measures the presence (or absence) of these eight quality characteristics in a local church:
- 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 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:
- Significant Findings
That report is then delivered to the local church by a representative of Church Venture Northwest. The local church then decides whether to accept or reject the report and its recommendations.
How long does an assessment take?
The timeline for Church Health Assessments vary on several factors, such as:
- How quickly church leaders respond to NCD survey. (We cannot proceed to step two until at least 30 people have responded.)
- How quickly church members/attendees respond to online survey. (We generally give 4-6 weeks for people to respond.)
- Scheduling of the Focus Groups
- Scheduling of the Report
Please talk to John Long for more information to understand how long this process may take.
What does an assessment cost?
Typical church health assessments can cost up to $15,000. However, Church Venture Northwest exists to serve local churches within the Covenant Community and the costs are heavily underwritten by the association. Therefore, the full health assessment for CVNW churches is $5000* and covers:
- the NCD survey
- Travel expenses
- Several hours of evaluation, interviews, meetings, and preparation
*This price applies only to CVNW churches.
What are the steps involved in the whole assessment process?
- Site visit: Explain whole process to leadership and possibly to church body.
- Church sends letter of intent inviting Church Venture Northwest to conduct assessment.
- Church fills out "Church Information Worksheet" and sends all requested information.
- Conduct NCD survey
- Do Online survey
- In-house review of survey results and data by Church Venture Northwest. Determine Focus Groups to be interviewed.
- Conduct focus meetings and/or interviews on site.
- In-house analysis and development of report by Church Venture Northwest.
- Set date for report delivery (usually to leadership, then to whole congregation).
- Deliver report.
- Congregational vote to accept or reject recommendations.