Research Driven Mission: NCLS focused PRAC Magazine

One of the keys to effective ministry is understanding the context that is the focus of your ministry and mission. This is obvious as it relates to the community that is the focus of our church’s outreach ministry. However it is also critical to have an overview of what is happening inside the faith community, the church. This is one of the great benefits of involvement in the National Church Life Survey, which is conducted every five years. Some churches do a Church Life Survey every year. While statistics obviously don’t tell us everything, or give us relational intelligence, they can give us a helpful overview through which to reflect on and discern our congregation’s fruitfulness – both as a national movement and as local churches.

One of Crossover’s purposes is to reflect back to the church how we are doing and highlight trends in our culture that offer opportunities. This issue of PRAC focuses on doing this, as researchers from our movement and NCLS reflect on the trends identified in the 2016 NCLS, how they compare to past years, and what we should do with that information? This includes reflections for local churches, a case study of how one local church has used their NCLS report to shape their goals and vision, and some practical tools to help your church use this report.

Further NCLS reflection articles are contained in the Context Trends part of our website, to help us reflect further on some of the trends that have been identified. Some of these are mentioned in the list below as they expand on these PRAC articles.

Articles include:

  • Satellite Perspectives: A Snap Shot of Australian Baptists by Ian Hussey

This is the first part of a series of 3 article researched and written by Ian from this NCLS data. Find the other two articles in Context-Trends or click here for Faith Sharing and Invitation article or click here for Hospitality and Evangelism article

  • Inspiring & Empowering Leadership Culture by Darren Cronshaw & the BUV Mission Catalyst Team – an expanded version of this article including a case study is available in Context Trends
  • Unquenched Thirst: The Hunger of Baptists for Innovation by Ruth Powell
  • Where are the instructions? Evangelism Skills Deficit in Churches By Darrell Jackson
  • Sharpening the Axe: NCLS Results Case Study from Ulverstone, TAS by Ken Clendinning – a second church case study will soon be available on Context Trends
  • Plan of Attack: How to Maximise Church Strategy From NCLS Results by Sam Sterland

PRAC has been posted to every Australian Baptist Church in our movement. Ask your Pastor for a hard copy or contact us to have it posted to you. Click “read prac” above to read it online.

Other useful tools for local churches considering their local community and context include: