Houlton United Methodist Church

The Letter to Thyatira: HOLINESS

Imagine a barrel with several staves. Now we pour water into the barrel. What happens? You can only fill the barrel to the level of the lowest stave. Now imagine a barrel with eight staves, each representing the Eight Quality Characteristics. According to Natural Church Development, those 8 quality characteristics include empowering leadership, gift-based ministry, passionate spirituality, effective structures, inspiring worship services, holistic small groups, need-based evangelism, and loving relationships. With this analogy, you can only fill the barrel with “healthy water” to the level of the lowest stave. So to increase the capacity of the barrel, we must increase the height of the lowest stave. For instance, suppose we have inspiring worship services and strong small groups, but if we don’t have a loving relationship, its absence functions as the Minimum Factor that prevents growth. When we focus on the Minimum Factor, the church growth happens.