Thursday, April 20, 2006

Survey Results...

The results of our congregational survey were emailed to the everyone on the email list today. A couple of things, although not especially surprising, jumped out at me.

The first has to do with worship. As the elders have begun meeting with each of the adult Bible classes, no topic has engendered more discussion and strong feelings than worship. Yet, the survey results say that 80% of the congregation is satisfied that "Offering worship that provides a meaningful experience of God and the Christian faith" receives an appropriate emphasis, and 70% are satisfied with the emphasis on "Providing worship that expresses the Gospel in contemporary language and forms". The 30% that indicated a lack of satisfaction with the degree of emphasis on contemporary worship were almost evenly divided among those who feel it receives too much emphasis and those who feel that it does not receive enough.

Two observations.

  1. The balance between contemporary and traditional forms seems to be about where it should be. While the 16% who desire more emphasis on contemporary and the 14% who desire more emphasis on traditional may not feel personally satisfied with the balance, the vast majority find it meaningful, and are satisfied. There is an opportunity for those on either end to love one another and to love the majority of the congregation by not insisting on changing to meet their preferences.
  2. The amount of discussion over the past couple of years on contemporary vs traditional is either causing our focus to be on ourselves and what we prefer or is a symptom that we are focused upon ourselves. It would be appropriate to shift our focus and discussion from our own preferences about how we worship to how we can fulfill our mission of sharing the Gospel.

That leads me to the second thing that jumped out at me - the item rated as needing more emphasis by the largest number of people - 53% - is "Sharing the good news of the Gospel with the unchurched". As I reflect upon our initial exposure to the Partnership for Missional Church, and the conversations that we began on that Saturday, I am convinced that we have the willingness to be missional and that participating in PMC will help us develop the skills and the will to share the good news.


The Future said...

I love the statistical analysis on the 20-24 age group! There are exactly 5 of them... not an overwhelming # to do convincing analysis with!

Funny how "Silent prayer/meditation" received 26.2% needs more, but 29.7% very satisfied. Interesting observation.

I'm be back later with a few more.

The Future said...

I'm back.

Will there be a more complete survey? Maybe I'm the only stat nut around (I doubt it), but looking over this thing, I need some more detail. I really liked what they did with the opinions regarding multiple worship services, where each % is sorted by time of membership, age, and income. Why just this? It seems if we don't think we have enough of a certain age group we should see what they think on certain issues. Table 10 is interesting, but I want to see how many people 40 and younger think certain ways as opposed to the older. This as it stands doesn't say a lot.

Also, some of these questions would mean more if we saw what new people thought (here 2 years or less), since if we're trying to grow, all the people we grow with will be new. Maybe there are some misconceptions we're missing since we can't see how they responded.

What do you think?

Why do 56 not feel they have a strong sense of belonging? How do we reach out to those among us?

I like that only 3 have decreased faith, but that kinda bums me out. Is it our fault? How can we not stand in the way of the gospel?

Craig said...

First, let me thank you for your comments - I appreciate that you took the time to thoughtfully respond. I think you raise a couple of good questions concerning further disaggregation of some of the data, and I will pass those on to the rest of the elders for our meeting with Tom Winter to discuss the results.

I will post later this evening or tomorrow to followup on your observation about 56 not feeling a sense of belonging - that's a topic that we touched on in the PMC meeting and warrants further discussion.

I hope you are planning to be at the congregational summit on the afternoon of the 30th.