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Seven Passions of a Revolutionary and NCD

5 December 2007

While I was reading Barna’s book Revolution, I was struck that there were similarities between his “Seven Passions of a Revolutionary” (as he coins it) and the eight signs of a healthy church.

Christian Swartz (and his research of tens of thousands of churches) has found that churches that are growing in ALL places around the world exhibit eight common characteristics. And he found that NO church that scores above 60/100 in these areas on his inventory is NOT growing. The characteristics are:

  • Empowering Leadership
  • Gift-Oriented Ministry
  • Passionate Spirituality
  • Functional Structures
  • Inspiring Worship Services
  • Holistic Small Groups
  • Need-oriented Evangelism
  • Loving Relationships

This post is not intended to be an exposition of NCD (Natural Church Development), although I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with it. (If you are familiar with NCD, you will know the significance of the staved barrel above. If not…I suggest you look into it!)

But Barna has listed seven characteristics of “Revolutionary Christians.” (See my previous post about this). I find the two lists interesting in their similarities:

Barna’s list:

  • Servanthood
  • Faith Based Conversations
  • Intentional Spiritual Growth
  • Servanthood
  • Intimate Worship
  • Resource Investment
  • Family Faith
  • Spiritual Friendships

Both lists stress the importance of meaningful worship, Servanthood (need-oriented evangelism as well as gift-oriented ministry) Loving Relationships (Spiritual Friendships, perhaps Faith based conversations), Functional structures (while not on the list, Barna’s entire thesis is presupposed on the assertion that the current church structures are not working. There are perhaps other areas of overlap, but I just find the parallels interesting. It would be interesting to find out the receptivity of NCD “healthy” churches to the “revolutionary” movement described by Barna.

Natural Church Devel, Postmodernism

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