I created a survey for our church to take. I used Survey Monkey, which is a very easy way to make an online survey.
I started the survey with a number of demographic questions (age, gender, marital status...) And then asked a short series of open ended questions. I based the open ended questions on what is called a SWOT analysis, or Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. This is an analysis used by many organizations to aid in decision making, strategy formulation, etc.
I sent an email out to our database today with a link to the survey. In less than 8 hours the survey had been completed over 100 times. I was a little surprised by that.
The reason I have felt so strongly about doing a survey is that I have been a little frustrated with my own decision making process. My decision making in the past has been based on anecdotal evidence. Someone makes a comment, or someone says they have "heard" comments. That sort of thing. Then I pray about the comments, and listen for God, and try to think about a course of direction to address the comments. But that is not a very good way to make decisions! I really have no idea how many people would have similar comments. No idea how much of a problem the problem really is. Just hearsay and good intentions. But no real evidence.
So I'm hoping that this preliminary survey will at least give myself and the leadership a sense of what the real issues are. Then I plan to do a follow up survey that addresses each of those issues more in depth. That way we will have a good sense of what people are really thinking and feeling, why they have stayed, why they have left, why they serve, why they don't, what they need, what they desire, and how best we as leaders and as a church can serve them.
Of course I am under no illusion that this survey is the be all end all. It won't solve all our problems. But its a step in the right direction. One of many steps we need to take as we grow and mature as a church. I am still amazed that we are only four years old! God is good!
Minister of Music & Administration
Our Place Christian Church
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