Loving relationships are the heart of a healthy, growing church. Jesus said people will know we are His disciples by our love. Practical demonstration of love builds authentic Christian community and brings others into God’s kingdom.
NCD research indicates that there is a highly significant relationship between the ability of a church to demonstrate love and its long-term growth potential. Growing churches possess on the average a measurably higher "love quotient" than stagnant or declining churches. (NOTE: The most frequent NCD survey "minimum factor" of churches with more than 1000 in attendance is the quality characteristic "loving relationships." Wherever there is a lack of love, further church development is severely hampered.)
It can be shown that there is a significant connection between "laughter in the church" and that church’s qualitative and numerical growth.
Unfeigned, practical love has a divinely generated magnetic power far more effective than evangelistic programs which depend almost entirely on verbal communication. People do not want to hear us talk about love, they want to experience how Christian love really works.
The NCD Survey measures:
- Atmosphere of joy and trust
- Interdependent relationships
- Affirmation and encouragement
- Intentional conflict resolution