For church leaders who shepherd congregations of a decent size (more than 100 people or so), it can be difficult know what people are thinking. You may have a general sense of how engaged your congregation is in church life, how they’re growing spiritually, or how accepted they feel at your church, but you’ll never really know until you ask them. In large churches, you can’t realistically meet with every member of your congregation, so the next best way to gather information is to conduct a survey.
VitalChurch Ministry, an organization that specializes in church diagnostics, recommends that churches survey their congregations once a year. By doing so, church leaders not only find important information about their church members at the time they are surveyed, but can also compare data from year to year. This can reveal interesting trends and help church leaders make important adjustments to the types of ministries that are offered, how resources are allocated, and other decisions related to strategic planning.
Once you decide it’s time to survey your congregation, you then need to decide what church survey questions you should ask. Should you ask questions specific to your church, or will more generic questions suffice? The answer depends on the type of information you hope to gather. If you need to know detailed information, such as what night of the week would be the best to hold youth gatherings, or what service times people prefer, you would obviously need to write very specific church survey questions. However, if you’re just trying to get general information, such as demographic data, or gauge your congregation’s trust in church leadership, you could go with more general questions on your church survey.
If you fall into the latter category, you might want to save yourself a good amount of time and trouble and purchase a ready-made survey with all of the church survey questions already written. VitalChurch Ministry has produced a church survey that is great for churches of any size that are seeking to get a better understanding of their church’s effectiveness and increase its vitality. They call it their Church Vitality Survey, and it is well priced—especially considering everything it includes.
Not only does the survey include thoughtful survey questions, it also comes with helpful tips for maximizing participation among your church members. In addition, all of the completed surveys go directly to VitalChurch Ministry for processing. Their team then creates a detailed report, which is delivered within three business days, and will schedule a phone call with you to discuss the results of your church survey.
For churches that don’t know where to start when it comes to a church survey, a ready-made option can definitely be a smart way to go!