Building C.H.A.M.P.S.
Church Health Assessment/Mobilization Planning Strategy

 

STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT INDEX – Consultant facilitated Church Health/Revitalization tool

MEASURING CHURCH HEALTH

Why Strength Development Index?

The strengths of a church are directly related to their effectiveness at fulfilling God’s mission and purpose. Specifically, healthy churches effectively grow in the area of the six purposes of the church found in Acts 2:42-47. Worship,Evangelism, Discipleship, Prayer, Ministry, and Fellowship.

Why this Strength Development Index?

Several years ago George Gallup was quoted as saying, “The giant assumption is that because the church is growing, the people are growing. The better question is what’s going on inside the church that is growing?”

The South Carolina Baptist Convention (Church Health & Cooperative Program Group) wants to help churches discover what’s going on inside (Church Health). That’s why we are making the Strength Development Index available. This process was originally developed by Dr. Thom Rainer as the Church Health Survey. This survey (adapted as our Strength Development Index) helps the church to benchmark its strengths and weaknesses in those six functions:

  1. Worship- worship that glorifies God
  2. Evangelism and Missions -where people are reached for Christ regularly
  3. Discipleship - where disciples are growing in spiritual maturity
  4. Prayer - born out of a deep burden for God
  5. Ministry - that produces life-changing touches throughout the church, community and beyond 
  6. Fellowship - where believers are united and joyous in their relationships with members and non-members.

Church Health Assessment Process

The Strength Development Index is one segment of the Church Health Assessment process of helping the church discover its current state of health as it relates to the six functions of the church. It is consultant facilitated and evaluated. The Church Health/Revitalization Consultant, the pastor, staff and Church Health Task Force (elected by the church) will work together to conduct, facilitate and evaluate a process of discovering the current health and strengths of the church. The Strength Development Index is an important evaluative tool used in the process. The Strength Development Index (SDI) is a 160 item questionnaire that measures membership attitude, beliefs, and perceptions as it relates to the six functions of the church. It also analyses the basic Biblical core values of the church.

A comprehensive evaluation report will be given the Church Health Task Force outlining the survey results, including an overall strength level status, strength scores for each of the six purposes of the church, and responses to individual questions within each category (function). Used in conjunction with the overall Church Health/Revitalization Consultation, the SDI will be utilized to make recommendations for building on a platform of identified strengths and addressing areas where the church needs attention. This is called the Church Health/Revitalization consultation process. A final report and appropriate recommendations will be given to the church through the Church Health Task force for action and implementation.

Strength Development Index Cost

The only initial cost to the congregation will be a $75.00 fee to cover the cost of administering the SDI. There will be some other incidental cost such as books, meals, refreshments and supplies furnished by the church. The cost of the Church Health/Revitalization process is underwritten by the State Convention Cooperative Program.

Church Health/Revitalization Process

Step 1. Contact made with the SC Baptist Convention Church Health & Cooperative Program Group. The CH/CP will contact the Church Health Consultant (CHC).

Step 2. Calendar a date for the Church Health/Revitalization Consultant to meet with the pastor and appropriate church leadership to review and approve the consultation purpose and process.

Step 3. The Church Health/Revitalization Consultant (CH/RC) will submit a written proposal giving organization, purpose and process for conducting the Church Health/Revitalization Consultation to the church for approval and adoption.

Step 4. The church will elect a Church Health Task Force (CHTF) that will work with the pastor and church leadership to help establish, conduct, evaluate and facilitate the consultation process.

Step 5. Calendar date for a meeting with the pastor, appropriate church leadership and CHTF to train for and overview the process.

Step 6. Calendar a date for conducting the SDI. It is suggested that the CHC be invited to preach during the Sunday morning service. During the message the CHC will overview the purpose and process of the consultation. Following the worship service the CHTF will provide a meal for those participating in the SDI survey. Instruction concerning the process for enlisting those participating in the survey will be given during the CHTF training.

Step 7. The CHTF will provide the CHC appropriate information and materials needed for the consultation.

Step 8. The CHC will order appropriate demographic and community information needed for the consultation.

Step 9. The SC Baptist Convention will process the results of the survey and return the results to the Church Health & Cooperative Program Group for review.

Step 10. The Church Health & Cooperative Program Group will review the survey and give a written analysis along with recommendations. The appropriate convention ministry teams will be requested to give input in their area of specialty and responsibility.

Step 11. The Church Health & Cooperative Program Group will forward the survey results (with its recommendations) to the CHC.

Important note: In areas of strengths and/or needs, every office of the SCBC will be available to provide and/or to recommend appropriate helps and resources. For instance, if the greatest need is in the area of Worship, the Worship leadership office will become directly involved in the consultation as needed.

Step 12. The CHC will share the results of the analysis (including the results of the SDI) with the pastor, church leadership and Church Health Task Force.

Step 13. Calendar a date to conduct a Collaborative Response Workshop. This workshop will be conducted to discuss, evaluate and assimilate the information presented to the church in the consultation recommendation. The Pastor, the CHTF and the CHC will facilitate this meeting. This is a two day event normally conducted on Friday night and Saturday morning. Arrangements and target group will be the responsibility of the CHTF. Results (facilitated by the CHC) will be given to the Pastor and the CHTF to review and organize into a strategic planning action list.

Step 14. Final report – A final report will be made by the pastor, CHTF and the CHC to the congregation.

Step 15. As appropriate, the congregation will adopt the recommendations of the consultation.

Step 16. The Church Heath Consultant will arrange follow-up meetings with the pastor and CHTF as needed.

Step 17. The CHC will make a final report to the SC Baptist Convention Church Health and Revitalization Office.

**** It is highly recommended the pastor and church immediately begins a 13 week study of the book “Eternal Impact” by Ken Hemphill. This is very important in building the spiritual basis for this process.

**** It is highly recommended the church immediately begin a strategic prayer initiative (SPI) in the church. The Church Health & Cooperative Program Group can help with the organization, training and facilitating of this initiative. This is critical to the success of the partnership. For more information please contact Church Health & Cooperative Program Group .

**** It is the expectation a healthy church will be focused on mobilization, missions and multiplication. As part of the mobilization, missions and multiplication process, the CHC and the SCBC Church Health & Cooperative Program Group will assist the church to discover specific ways that the church can be involved in each of these areas. Part of the final recommendation and application of action plans should include specific actions dealing with these three areas. One of the characteristics of a healthy church is its ability to reach outside of itself and into the harvest field.

**** It is the expectation a healthy church will be a modeling church. As the church begins to discover its strengths, vision and purpose it is recommended that it become a modeling partner with and network with other churches that need to or will be going through the Church Health and Revitalization process.

For further information or questions please contact the Church Health Group at:
Telephone: 803-227-6038 or Toll Free 800-723-7242 ext. 2621.
Email:  Jerry Sosebee:  jerrysosebee@scbaptist.org or Joe Youngblood:  joeyoungblood@scbaptist.org

 

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