Chapter 2. The 12 Areas of the Total Church Diagram (TCD)
1. These first 3 Areas contain information that affects every person in a local church:
- Area 1 – Input: Contains information about all the relevant exterior influences that affect the entire church. Includes God, culture of the people and community, government influence, beliefs and practices of the participants, policies and procedures of parent denominations, educational institutions, spiritual beliefs and evil spiritual forces.
- Area 2 – Participants: Contains information about all known participants in the local church. These may be members, regular attendees, children of members, visitors and staff. Area 2 DOES NOT represent a physical church building!
- Area 3 – Output: Contains information about relevant effects or outputs that are produced by the total church. The Output from the church should be very similar to the Input (Area 1).
2. The next 4 areas contain information that is relevant to the major ministries of the church:
- Area 4 – Conversion Ministries: Contains information relevant to evangelizing unconverted persons who are not part of the local church. This includes contacting them and influencing them to become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and active members of your church or another biblical church.
- Area 5 – Transfer Ministries: Contains information relevant to contacting Christians who are not attending a local church and influencing them to become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in a local church.
- Area 6 – Optimal Growth Ministries: Contains information relevant to the optimal spiritual development of knowledgeable Christians who are members or participants in a local church.
- Area 7 – Renewal/Recapture Growth Ministries: Contains information relevant to renewing or evangelizing members or participants of your church. This includes disgruntled or lapsed members of your church along with the children and other family members of active Christians who attend a local church.
3. The final 5 areas have to do with the various groups that are found in almost all local churches.
Most of the Members and Participants shown in Area 2 are involved in one of more of these groups. They may have different names and agendas but they each provide an essential ingredient that helps the church function as a spiritual body.
- Area 8 – Celebration Groups: (CG) – The primary function is to create an atmosphere of Celebration through worship and praise to God. Although there is no upper size limit they work most effectively with at least 75 persons. This includes the primary worship or preaching services of a church along with other special celebration events the church may conduct or in which they may participate. Evangelistic services may also be part of Area 8. Biblical examples include Jesus preaching to 5,000 and 4,000 (Mark 6:33, 8:1-20) and Peter preaching to more than 3,000 (Acts 2: 41).
- Area 9 – Fellowship Groups (FG): The primary function is to provide an atmosphere of fellowship for the church. They work best with between 15 to 250 persons. They can have many different agendas, including large Sunday School classes, Bible studies, adult fellowship groups, mission projects, choirs, youth groups, sports activities and various social events. Biblical examples include the 70 sent out by Jesus (Luke 10:1) and the upper room group (Acts 1:15).
- Area 10 – Kinship Groups (KG): The primary function is to provide an atmosphere of kinship or family to the church. They can range in size from 5 to 14 persons. They can also have many different agendas, including prayer groups, home Bible study groups, small Sunday School classes, adult project groups, choirs, youth groups, sports and various social events. Biblical examples are the 12 disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 19:7) and the 12 apostles (Matt. 12:1)
- Area 11 – Mentorship Groups (MG): They are also called Disciple Groups as their primary function is to mentor or train individuals thru personal relationships. This is how most disciples grow. The ideal size is between 2 to 4 persons. The agenda includes counseling, evangelism training, Bible study, coaching and mentoring by experienced leaders. Biblical examples include Jesus and His mentoring of Peter, James and John (Mark 9:2), Barnabas mentoring Paul (Acts 11:25) and Paul mentoring Timothy (I Cor. 4:17, 2 Tim. 2:2).
- Area 12 – Leadership Groups (LG): The primary function of this group is to provide the leadership required for any church to exist. This group is comprised of the ministers, paid staff and volunteers who lead or participate in the leadership groups and who give guidance to all of the other groups of the church. These may include such things as boards of elders, deacons, committees and administrative boards. Biblical examples include Jesus choosing 12 disciples as servant leaders for the entire Church (Acts 1:25), deacons (Acts 6:2), and elders (Acts 11:30, 14:3, 20:17, 1 Tim. 5:17, Titus 1:5).
Area 12 is shown by a series of dashed lines surrounding all of the other groupings, including Area 2 – Members/Participants.
4. Now that we have given this introduction, we will show the relationship between all 12 Areas using the Total Church Diagram (TCD).
Figure 2-4 combines all 12 areas of the Total Church Diagram. Once we have identified all 12 Areas of the church and showed the relationship these Areas have to one another, we can demonstrate how the Church Vitality Survey (CVS) can be used to gather significant information for each of these Areas.
Every question on the Survey applies to one or more Areas of the Total Church Diagram. The CVS covers Areas 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 12 in some depth while Areas 8, 9, 10 and 11 are lightly addressed. We have one question each for Areas 1 and 3.
In addition to the CVS, we can also use research, existing church reports, data gathering forms, observations and interviews to gather more complete data on the entire TCD. The CVS is our most valuable source of information because it is gathered directly from the church members and constituents. Therefore, we will take a closer look at how the Survey can be used to gather an essential baseline of information about the church that leaders can then use to improve their ministry for the Lord Jesus Christ.