God is at work
This stage is a natural extension of the previous one but with a subtle difference. Sometimes, in growing your church, it can seem like the initiative always rests with you. You do the work and God responds. If you have this view, the NCD process can seem to turn solely on your capacity to remove barriers to healthy growth. While it is important to do this well, we must not forget that the work of God’s Spirit in our churches is not confined to His responses to what we do. Praise be to God!
You can be confident that the Spirit will act in accordance with God’s principles and His Word, and to that extent you can predict some outcomes with a reasonable degree of certainty. Yet you should equally expect some unintended consequences, some pleasant surprises and some personal growth challenges. This is only natural if we believe in a God who gives good gifts (Matt 7:11) and does exceedingly more abundantly than we could possible ask (Eph 3:20).
The Experience stage is about allowing yourself to stand outside of your mindset, your history and your expectations, to truly look at how the Spirit brings about transformational change according to His agenda.Learn to observe the everyday experiences of church life: the changes in people, the mood, the sense of the presence of God, the testimonies, the healthier behaviours that reflect growth in character, the signs of spiritual gifts at work, the greater steps of faith, a stronger sense of community, the new levels of engagement in worship, etc. What is happening “all by itself” without you having to “ramp it up”?
Mary or Martha?
Many church leaders want the Spirit-led “all by itself” growth, but then push hard to maintain control of the church. If the Spirit is out and about revealing His purposes and work in the everyday lives of the people in your church, it is a good idea not to be too busy to miss what the Master is trying to tell you. You might even do it often enough to start enjoying the experience.
Experience arises from Experiences
Being experienced in the things of God does not come through an accumulation of theoretical knowledge. We learn about the person and purposes of God precisely because He is an incarnational God, a God who is actively at work in our daily lives. So our experience in partnering with God arises from our experiences of Him at work in our everyday lives. Being in tune with these experiences lies at the heart of Perception, which is the next stage.
On to the 'Perceive' stage
Helpful Tools for the 'Experience' stage
3 Color Life Cycle - NCD Survey Workbook
A process for your leadership team download
Teaching and application of Growth Forces
Increased application of God's growth forces will keep action plans relevant and help you to wisely respond to the new things God is doing.
NCD Regional Gatherings
These mutual-learning networking events are held at various times of the year in an increasing number of locations around Australia more...
Experienced NCD Pastor's or Coaches capable of providing additional wisdom, objectivity and accountability-
- NCD Key Contacts - Denominational and Non-denominational
- NCD 'Davids' - Pastor's and Lay Leaders with extensive experience
- 'The Vine' - Find an NCD church in your area
- NCD Australia - Contact us to discuss any aspects of the process