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Applying the Growth Principles

Over the last 25 years, NCD has produced dozens of books, assessments and processes for individuals, groups, congregations, and even whole denominations to implement the growth principles.

The Church Survey

About 25 years ago, Christian Schwarz and Christoph Schalk, two Christian leaders in what was then West Germany, surveyed 1,000 churches across the globe and found that there are eight characteristics that differentiate healthy growing churches from those plateaued or in decline. Many think of the NCD paradigm as the Survey, but now it is much more than that. The Church Survey remains one of the core pillars of the NCD resources, and has been used well over 100,000 times in the ensuing decades. About 3,500 Surveys of these Surveys have been conducted in Canada, but churches in 45 denominations! In order to receive a Profile, that is, the set of reports detaining the Survey’s findings, about 30 church members fill in a detailed questionnaire. The NCD Church Survey is accessible online in English only. Paper copies of the Survey are available in dozens of languages and NCD Canada has experience working in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.

How to proceed with the Survey

You will need a minimum of 30 people to provide responses to the Survey. Once all the responses have been gathered, the

Click here to download a brief set of instructions for conducting the Survey, and here for brief guidelines on how to use the online processing system for the production of the reports.

The NCD Cycle is a change management process to walk a congregation through the process of gathering its data, understanding the underlying issues or barriers to health, developing a plan of action to address the issues, executing the plan, experiencing the change.

To open an NCD Church Survey account, please complete and submit the brief form to NCD Canada.

3 Color Discipleship Series

There are five books and accompanying personal assessment tools in the series, each based on one of the eight Quality Characteristics of healthy churches. The centre of each resource is the Trinitarian Compass.

The 3 Color Books

The 3 Colors of Leadership introduces the trinitarian balance of empowerment and leadership, and provides six corresponding characteristics of each. Like all the books in the series, balance is exhibited in training, motivating and liberating.


The 3 Colors of Your Gifts shows how a trinitarian approach to spiritual gifts can create a positive growth dynamic exactly in those areas where the topic may have caused controversies in the past. It includes the Three-Color Gift Test. Translated into 20 languages versions and 460,000 copies sold. Updated and revised in 2017, this book was previously titled The 3 Colors of Ministry.


The 3 Colors of Your Spirituality helps individuals discover their spiritual style (i.e. their individual “antenna for God”) and teaches them how to interact most creatively with people who display different spiritual styles. Particularly helpful when factions of a congregation may have trouble understanding one another.


The 3 Colors of Community introduces the concept of God’s energy, and shows how to discover and release an individual’s unique spiritual energy. Will mke any smaller group relevant both for the participants and for outsiders.


The 3 Colors of Love integrates the three dimensions of justice, truth, and grace and how these three aspects of Love demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit based on Galatians 5:22.

Purchase 3 Color Resources

Visit our 3 Color online store to purchase any of the books and/or tests in The 3 Color Discipleship Resources. Group discounts are available.

The 3 Color Assessments

The eTests that are integrated in the books of the NCD Discipleship Resources, and most are, or will be soon, available as stand-alone e-versions. Each Test can be used by individuals or for groups. The current online versions and their corresponding 3 Color book are:

Test Book
Empowerment Test
Communal Test
The 3 Colors of Community (Holistic Small Groups)
Spiritual Styles Test
Gift Test

The 3 Colors of Your Gifts (prev The 3 Colors of Ministry)

Stewardship Test
Book not written, but based on Effective Structures