Schwarz, Christian A. "Chapter 4: The Minimum Factor." Color Your World with Natural Church Development: Experiencing all that God has designed you to be. St. Charles, IL: Church Smart Resources, 2005, 125-145.
Schwarz defines "the minimum factor" as that element which is weakest in a church organization. he advocates focus on that area as the most basic task necessary for growth (Schwarz 2005, 126). He draws the necessity to work on these areas from Paul's listing of fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. All the fruit is good and should be developed in every person. The minimum factor may be illustrated by analogy of a potted plant. We apply what it needs at the time, until we need to apply provision for a different need (Schwarz 2005, 128).
Schwarz further illustrates that the minimum factor needs re-evaluation, as growth occurs and leaves a different factor as the new minimum. He then advocates building all our capacity in terms of the quality characteristics introduced in chapter three (Schwarz 2005, 132). To do this, he recommends his NCD survey tools as a measurement of a congregation's weaknesses.
Schwarz also observes that his "Trinitarian Compass" can serve to inform our evaluation of minimum factors in a congregation (Schwarz 2005, 135). He emphasizes that the goal is to eventually increase all areas, leading to what he would consider as a more "radical" form of Christianity (Schwarz 2005, 136). By application of his compass within the overall minimum factor, it is possible to find the need for growth more precisely. Again, Schwarz recommends this be identified through his survey products (Schwarz 2005, 138).
Schwarz finally notes that his principles can be applied to entire church bodies. He illustrates with several different denominations (Schwarz 2005, 140). In the end, he also applies his prouct across church bodies to evaluate cultures as a whole (Schwarz 2005, 142). It appears at this point that he really wants to sell his process to create Christianity acccording to his criteria everywhere. Schwarz describes his paradigm as a countercultural but biblical message (Schwarz 2005, 144). However, I am concerned his emphasis ultimately would result in a least common denominator form of Christianity which falls prey to his concept of what the Church should look like.