HELPING AUSTRALIAN BAPTISTS SHARE JESUS
RESEARCH DRIVEN MISSION Satellite Perspectives Inspiring & Empowering Leadership Unquenched Thirst Where are the instructions? Sharpening the Axe Plan of Attack
WINTER 2018 | ISSUE 77
From the the Director Director From From the Director
Officially, according to a 2015 report by the Bureau of Statistics, Australians One of the keys effective ministry understanding thedetailed contextsurvey that is in full-time jobsto put in 38 hours per is week. But the first the focus of most your ministry mission. This is obvious as it The relates to thesays shows that full-timeand workers surveyed put in more. Bureau community is the focus of our full-time church’s outreach ministry. However 5 million ofthat Australia’s 7.7 million workers put in more than 40 hours according to aan 2015 report by thethan of Statistics, Australians itOfficially, is also critical to have overview what isBureau happening inside the faith per week. Of them, 1.4 million put inofmore 50 hours per week. Around in full-time put inthan 38 hours per week. Butbenefits the first of detailed surveyin community, the church. This is hours one ofper theweek. great involvement 270,000 putjobs in more 70 shows that most full-time workers surveyed put in more. BureauSome says the National Church Life Survey, which is conducted every The five years. 5 million of 7.7Survey milliontime full-time workers putdo inat more thanexcept 40 hours churches aus, Church Life every While statistics obviously For manydo ofAustralia’s we spend more atyear. work than we church, of per week. them, 1.4 or million putrelational in more than 50 hours percan week. don’t tellfor usOf everything, give intelligence, they giveAround us a course those employed by us the church. 270,000 put in more thanwhich 70 hours per week. helpful overview through to reflect on and discern our congregation’s fruitfulness – both assay. a national movement andofasuslocal churches. So what? I hear you Just this, how many would say our ministry For many of us, weour spend time at work wechurch do church, is connected with localmore church rather thanthan focused onatour workplace. One of Crossover’s purposes is to reflect back to the how weexcept are of course forhighlight those employed theculture church. The balance needs to be corrected. We need to refocus our missional doing and trends inbyour that offer opportunities. This issue activities in a wayonthat embraces reality that God is movement also at workand in our of PRAC focuses doing this, asthe researchers from our So what? I hear you say. Just this, how many of us would say our ministry places of employment. NCLS reflect on the trends identified in the 2016 NCLS, how they compare is connected our local churchdo rather on our workplace. to past years, with and what we should withthan that focused information? This includes The balance needs to be corrected. We need to refocus our missional In this edition of PRAC you will find a collection of articles and a book reflections for local churches, a case study of how one local church hasreview activities in a way that embraces the reality that God is also at work in our that focus on this issue of ministry in the workplace. used their NCLS report to shape their goals and vision, and some practical placestoofhelp employment. tools your church use this report. Of course this is not an either or but rather a both, and...involvement in the We’ll also be sharing further NCLS reflection articles on our website In this edition of PRAC find aas collection of articles and a book review missional agenda of myyou localwill church, well as recognising my workplace at www.crossover.org.au/context-trends to help us reflect further on that focus on this issue of ministry in the workplace. as my mission field. some of the trends that have been identified. Another useful tool for local churches considering their local community and context that was Of course this is not an either or but rather a both, and...involvement in the released in 2017 is the “Faith and Belief in Australia Report” produced missional agenda of my local church, as well as recognising my workplace by McCrindle Research and Olive Tree Media. This report can be found as my mission field. at faithandbelief.org.au
Keith Jobberns Director Crossover Australia
Keith Jobberns Jobberns Keith Director Director Crossover Australia Crossover
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Satellite Perspectives A snapshot of Australian Baptists
Every five years a large number of Australian Baptist churches participate in the National Church Life Survey (NCLS). The survey provides a snapshot of what Australian Baptists are thinking and doing. It allows us to examine trends in church life as we compare data from surveys over time. In late 2016, 33,898 adult Baptist attenders, 15 years and over, across 319 churches completed the NCLS. The average age of the Baptist attenders was 50 years, compared with 48 years in 2011 and 46 years in 2006. This continues a concerning trend: Australian Baptists are an ageing movement. In part, it reflects the aging population of Australia, but it still signifies that Australian Baptists aren’t retaining or incorporating young people into our churches. The destination of an aging entity is death. We need to re-double our efforts at attracting and retaining young people in our churches. Perhaps reflecting this aging, 43% of Baptists have a university degree (up from 39% in 2011 and 32% in 2006) while for the general population it’s only 31%1. Baptists are generally more educated and, as a result, probably more affluent than the general community. Missiologists have long noted the effect that the gospel has in “lifting” the socio-economic status of those it influences, as disciples focus on relationships and education rather than less helpful pastimes. So, this figure could be good news as it reflects the power of the Gospel to transform lives. But it also means that Baptists should be wary of disconnecting from the communities they seek to reach.
By Ian Hussey
to 7% in 2011 and 8% in 2006. While it is exciting that 6% of our congregations are “converts” in the past five years, the trend is concerning. It indicates our missional effectiveness as a denomination is declining. This decline in Newcomers is not because Baptists feel less at ease talking about their faith with others (19% look for opportunities to do so, compared to 18% in 2011 and 17% in 2006). Nor is it a result of less invitation: 36% invited friends and relatives to a church service in the last year, the same as in 2011. The data regarding things that Australian Baptists value in their church could be revealing an interesting reversal. Although still the primary value, “Sermons, preaching or Bible teaching” was becoming less valued – 53% in 2001, 50% in 2006 and 48% in 2011. In 2016 however, 52% of Baptist attenders indicated that the thing they most valued about their church was the ministry of the Word. This may reflect a “returning to the roots” of the Baptists in Australia in an increasingly unsettled world. When asked what should be a priority in their church in the next 12 months, “Spiritual growth (e.g. direction)” continued as the highest response. Building a sense of community and encouraging people to find or use their gifts also featured. Nearly half (49%) of attenders agree that their gifts, skills and talents were being used well at their local church, but 27% (over a quarter) wanted to be more involved at their local church. Clearly, Australian Baptists are hungry to grow spiritually, to experience community and to serve, through their local church.
Australian Baptists continue to be an increasingly multicultural community. In 2016, 36% of attenders were born overseas, compared to 31% in 2011 and 23% in 2006. The percentage born overseas in the wider community in 2016 was 28.5%2. Australian Baptist churches are a remarkable manifestation of the beautifully diverse picture of the Church we see in Revelation 7:9. As such they can also have a powerful witness to the community of the power of the Gospel to forge unity in an increasingly fractured society.
In summary, Australian Baptists are a culturally diverse and educated community who strongly value sermons, preaching and Bible teaching. They want to grow in spirituality, community and service. However, this does not appear to be enough to reverse the decline of the denomination. The increasing average age of attenders and the decline in the percentage of switchers and Newcomers means that Australian Baptists face serious challenges. It is important that we continue to focus on inviting new people into faith and into the wonderful experience of being part of a Baptist church.
However, the influx of new people, switchers and newcomers, into Baptist churches is slowing. The percentage of Newcomers (people who have joined the church in past five years but who were not previously attending a church) was 6%, compared
Ian Hussey was a pastor for 17 years before commencing at Malyon College, QLD, where he’s now a lecturer and Director of Post-Graduate Studies. Ian used NCLS data for his PDH and enjoys helping churches to understand and implement the NCLS findings.
ABS - Education and Work, May 2017 (cat. no. 6227.0) ABS - Migration, 2015-16 (cat. no. 3412.0)
PRAC WINTER 2018 | 3
Inspiring & Empowering Leadership Culture
By Darren Cronshaw and the BUV Mission Catalyst Team1
As we seek to put our finger on the pulse of Australian Baptist church life, one of the most significant signs of health and vitality is our leadership. National Church Life Survey (NCLS) have been developing questions and ways of analysing healthy leadership since 1991. The survey of hundreds of thousands of Australian church-goers includes Baptists numbering 33,898 adults and 2,296 children across 319 Baptist churches. The results offer insights into the strength and possibilities of new growth and energy that could lead to fruitful mission around our churches. This article focuses on the involvement and giftedness of Baptist attenders as leaders. Firstly, a good proportion of Australian Baptists who were surveyed are involved in some form of leadership or ministry. 46% said they perform at least one leadership or ministry role. Churches need to empower the whole people of God for ministry and mission. This is not just about ministry roles in the church of course. God’s people need support if discerning and fostering the mission of God beyond the walls of the church. But healthy churches always have a higher proportion of people in the church contributing to their ministries, rather than relying on the hired holy people or few eager volunteers. 46% of attenders perform at least one leadership of ministry role
involvement is the lowest involvement in Australian Baptist church life for two decades. It was 52% in 2001, up to 51% in 2006, and then on the decline to 47% in 2011 and now 46% in 2016. We can celebrate those who are involved and released into ministry or leadership, but also be hugely challenged to consider how we can encourage others to contribute in meaningful ways. NCLS asked attenders about whether they feel encouraged to identify and use their gifts. This is a key question about the extent to which our pastors and leaders are empowering of others. In 2016, 23% of surveyed Australian Baptists said that their leaders encourage them to find and use their gifts to a great extent. This is slightly increased from 20% in 2011, the same as 2006 but down from 27% in 2001. There seems to be an unfortunate downward trend in people being involved in leadership and ministry, and having their gifts identified and encouraged. When you look at other responses, it is encouraging that another 32% say their leaders encourage them to find and use their gifts and skills to some extent (so at least 55% feel this is done for them to a great extent or to some extent). But many do not feel their gifts are identified or exercised. 49% of attenders agree that their GIFTS, SKILLS AND TALENTS ARE BEING USED WELL at their local church 25% 9%
Leadership or ministry role
Don't Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/Unsure Agree Strongly Agree
However, it is worth stating the almost obvious other element about this figure. 46% of people involved in at least one role means that 54% are not contributing in any leadership or ministry role! Moreover, 46%
The final insight about the Australian Baptist responses was where people felt they had gifts and skills, and in what roles they were contributing. 46% of attenders are contributing in a leadership or ministry role. This is a healthy number, although it has shown a slight decrease over the last twenty years (47% in 2011, 51% in 2006 and 52% in 2001). There is a healthy self-awareness of people’s own gifts and skills shown in their responses, and a healthy mixture. It is terrific to see, for example, that 37% of attenders feel their gifts and skills include hospitality, and 34% feel they have strong interpersonal gifts. These sort of responses are helpful for individual local churches to consider their gift mixes, and for leaders to talk to people about where they can best contribute. 23% of attenders said their local church’s leaders have encouraged them to find and use their gifts and skills to a great extent
Local churches can be a great gift to their communities and neighbourhoods. When their gifts are identified and empowered, church members can add such value to their local church and through the ministry of their church add value to their communities. These NCLS responses suggest much we can celebrate about Australian Baptist church life. It also suggests many areas where we can better identify and empower the talented and gifted contributions of people across the generations in our churches. Darren Cronshaw is Pastor of AuburnLife Baptist Church and Head of Research and Professor of Missional Leadership with Australian College of Ministries.
This article is adapted from “Church Life Snapshot: What can Victorian Baptists learn from NCLS 2016”, by BUV Mission Catalyst team, 12 December 2017, https://www.buv.com.au/news/church-life-snapshotwhat-can-victorian-baptists-learn-from-ncls-2016
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62% of people are happy with their current level of involvement. Interestingly 1% would like to be less involved and a little less overworked! But a huge 28% say they would like to be MORE involved. What a resource for local church ministry and mission if local church leaders
identify and empower these people in their gifts and skills.
The Hunger of Baptists for Innovation By Ruth Powell
Baptist church attenders in Australia strongly support innovation in church life. In the 2016 National Church Life Survey some 86% of Baptist attenders claim they would support the development of new initiatives in ministry and mission in their local church. This level of support is higher than the overall national average across 20 Australian denominations (80%). Why are new approaches important? Australians are increasingly disengaged from church life, and the role of the churches is being questioned, with only four in ten Australians who agree the Christian religion is good for society. Two thirds (67%) of Baptist church attenders agreed traditional established models of church life need to change to better connect with the wider Australian community.
Local churches seen as more open than previously In our NCLS research, we have tracked ‘innovativeness’ as a feature of organisational culture. That is, when people in local churches have a shared belief that they have the capacity to do something new, they build a culture that we know is important in successful change processes. The appetite for new approaches in local church life has grown dramatically in recent decades. The five-yearly National Church Life Surveys shows that the proportion of Baptist attenders who strongly agreed that ‘this local church is always ready to try something new’ increased over the past 15 years (from 11% in 2001 to 19% in 2016), while the proportions who were neutral or unsure or who disagreed declined.
Innovativeness and church vitality go together The NCLS Research team has been studying local churches with innovative church cultures, both through surveys and collecting stories over the past decades. Some of the key findings have been: • Openness to new possibilities is a core quality of vital churches • Having an openness to new approaches is positively related to attracting newcomers and church growth • The overall health or vitality of new churches is higher than in old churches.
Leadership is integral to innovativeness Leaders play a critical role in influencing organisational culture and change, and they are also influenced by it. New approaches to the study of leadership highlight relational leadership, which emphasises processes of transformation and shared patterns of leadership. This ‘Transformational leadership’ has been shown in empirical studies to create the conditions needed for innovation, and has significantly contributed to innovation as an outcome.
In the 2016 NCLS seven out of ten of Baptist attenders agreed that ‘Leaders here encourage innovation and creative thinking’ (70%). Around a quarter (26%) were neutral or unsure and 5% disagreed. Table 1: Baptist attender views re whether leaders encourage innovation: 2006 to 2016 Do you agree or disagree? ‘Leaders here encourage innovation and creative thinking.’ 2006 %
Source: National Church Life Surveys 2006, 2011 and 2016: Baptist attenders
Taking risks on new ideas New ideas and approaches take resources: money, time and effort. It is one thing to believe that there is a general sense of openness to consider new possibilities, and another thing to take steps to make changes. Baptist attenders are significantly more likely than all Australian attenders to assess their local churches as willing to take risks on something new (69% vs 58% overall).
Start with the open attitude…then do the hard work… In conclusion, the evidence from the 2016 NCLS is that Baptist church attenders strongly affirm the idea of new initiatives within local church life. Most believe their local churches are ready, that their leaders are supportive and they also claim that they will personally support new approaches. They believe that their churches are also ready to risk resources on new ideas. When pushed further with various scenarios that represent significant changes, they still affirm their openness. The main challenges to innovativeness are money and staff time. When NCLS researchers outline results about attender attitudes to new initiatives, the most common response from listeners is one of disbelief. Yet, we would encourage church leaders to take their church attenders at their word, and accept that the majority believe that they are open to something new. There is no question that for a church community to decide what to do next is complex. Change is hard work, even if we are committed to it. Yet, these trends in attender views are among some of the most dramatic across 25 years of surveys. The appetite for something new is on the rise. This article is an exert of a longer article by the same name. Find the full article at http://www.crossover.org.au/context-trends/ Dr Ruth Powell is the Director of NCLS Research, and has worked with the team since 1991.
In our previous National Church Life Survey analysis, when attenders were aware and committed to a vision, and experienced inspiring and empowering leadership, it was related to attracting newcomers, growth in numbers and a range of other qualities of healthy churches, such as belonging. PRAC WINTER 2018 | 5
Where Are The Instructions?
Evangelism Skills Deficit In Churches By Rev Dr Darrell Jackson
The results of the 2016 National Church Life survey show that Baptists are remarkably well connected. In fact, on average, every Baptist congregation in Australia has a circle of influence of approximately 640 non-Christians. These will include family members, friends, work colleagues, friendships in clubs and voluntary organisations, and many others who are yet to consciously take steps towards following Jesus and on into Christian faith. For each active member of a Baptist church, this boils down to a circle of influence of approximately seven nonChristian friends. Disguised by these averages is the equally important point that 40 percent of church members claim to have more than seven non-Christian friends. Whilst we are well connected, however, this fact alone doesn’t get us very far if we’re not ready to share our faith with the people to whom we are connected. Again, the NCLS survey has some relatively encouraging results. Nine out of every twenty Baptist churchgoers feels well equipped to share their faith. That’s encouraging because it means that on average, for every Baptist church in Australia, there are 288 non-Christians who are in touch with church members who feel well equipped to share their faith. But that’s not the whole picture! Although the NCLS figures suggest that we are in touch with a large number of Christian friends, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a lot of faithsharing going on! One in five Baptists never shares their faith. Two thirds of us have only done so ‘occasionally’. Moreover, no more than a third of Baptists are regularly inviting non-Christians to share a meal with them – a key strategy in Jesus’s mission. The NCLS isn’t clear on this, but it’s often noted that those church members who become better equipped at sharing their faith have simultaneously become more disconnected with their non-Christian friends. There is a lot to be said here about church leaders finding ways of encouraging their long-standing members to intentionally re-grow their circle of friendships. This is important because half of all Baptists say that it’s easier for them to share their faith in a relaxed environment. 6 | PRAC WINTER 2018
However, this can be a tension because it means that key members of the congregation will be less available for church activities as they are encouraged to rebuild friendships with non-Christians. It’s important to face these tensions realistically, but boldly, for the sake of the reproductive health of the congregation and for the congregation’s evangelistic impact within its circle of influence. Of course, for some of the people completing the NCLS survey, the idea of ‘sharing my faith’ is likely to be understood as somebody giving a comprehensive yet concise version of the Gospel in one sitting (perhaps the ‘Four spiritual Laws’ or ‘The Romans Road’). Pastors who are dismayed by the reported level of faith sharing can help their members to understand that ‘sharing faith’ takes place whenever the believer draws attention to God’s presence in the ordinary affairs of everyday life. Or when reference is made to the apparent and real benefits of the experience of God’s grace, forgiveness, and love in the life of the believer. I’m convinced that the Holy Spirit continues to use such witness in prompting people towards repentance and faith. If one in five of members have never shared their faith, two in five have never invited anybody to engage with the life or activity of their church. This is really interesting because 3 in 5 Baptists say that their church is a great place and suitable for introducing beginners to the faith. This takes us right to the question about how pastors can identity and encourage ‘points of entry’ to the life of a faith community: is this best conceived as being around the family table of church members, OR should more strategies be developed by which those in a congregation’s circle of influence can be exposed to the faith-filled and faith-shaped life of the congregation? It seems that one of the issues facing the Australian Baptist movement is to encourage and resource both approaches (and probably others) because there are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions. If there are 640 people within a congregation’s circle of influence, multiple ways to share need to be encouraged and developed. The author of all human creativity is the Spirit of God. Dare we pray to the Lord of the Harvest that he visit us again in the power and creativity of the Spirit? Rev Dr Darrell Jackson is the Associate Professor of Missiology, Morling College, and is married to the Lead Pastor of St Ives Baptist Church, Beth.
Sharpening The Axe NCLS Results Case Study from Ulverstone, TAS By Ken Clendinning
Throughout 2017 Ulverstone Baptist Church, Tasmania, experienced a consolidation and transition period, following four years of effective ministry by the previous pastor. The church was in a healthy state and preparing to transition from a pastoral to a program sized church. The leadership asked, what ought to be our priorities and focus during this period of transition to prepare for the next stage of the church’s life? The NCLS report from 2016 played an important part. It enabled us to identify, more specifically, areas needing attention in the life and ministry of the congregation. It was a valuable tool, alongside other processes, to enable us to discern ministry priorities that sought to be aligned with the call of God on the congregation. At a discernment retreat early in 2017 the elders and deacons identified four key areas to focus on during the transition period. These were their corporate prayer life, disciple-making, leadership development and missional engagement. The NCLS results enabled us to clarify how the broader congregation members understood themselves in late 2016, including areas of strength and potential areas for growth. However, as the church hadn’t done a survey since 2001 it was more difficult to identify recent trends. What did we learn? Amongst other things the NCLS results indicated the congregation particularly valued and prioritised biblical preaching, praying for one another, offering practical help and the place of life groups in the church. Congregation members had a strong sense of belonging to each other. They also indicated the need for focussed attention for the following 12 months to be given to ministry to children and youth, encouraging more members to develop confidence in using their ministry gifts, further development of spiritual growth and direction, and confidence in sharing one’s faith. How did we apply this understanding? In considering those aspects most valued and areas that needed focussed attention, a number of strategic priorities were implemented as part of the church life for 2017. These are foundations upon which to continue to build in future years. To assist people to be more confident in sharing their faith and discipling others, it was important to focus on knowing Jesus. So, the preaching throughout the year was based on Jesus’ teaching through the parables, how he discipled his disciples and conversations he had with different kinds of people. The life groups studied questions arising from these passages. We also conducted 4 workshops around disciple making. These covered stages of faith, spiritual formation, sharing one’s faith and making
disciples. Morning and evening sessions were held and in total 80 persons attended the workshops averaging 60 each week. As a followup 25 persons attended a mentoring and discipling workshop. Leadership development training opportunities were held for persons already in ministry leadership roles and those showing potential in the future. These were for life group leaders, worship leaders, youth and young adults, and preaching. The ongoing development of mentoring programs was seen as being important, including all the elders themselves seeking mentors. The church had already appointed a person to work part-time in supporting the youth and children’s ministries. Hospitality is strong with many of the church’s programs having significant contacts with people who do not express a personal faith in Jesus. Over 50% of the congregation engaged in local community activities. But, the NCLS results indicated there is minimal mission engagement with these contacts. Only a small percentage felt at ease at sharing their faith with non-believers. The disciple making workshops sought to encourage and equip people to be more confident in sharing their faith in a natural way with those they have been building relationships. Being a praying church was to become a major focus for 2017. The NCLS report indicated that praying for one another is one of the congregation’s most valued activities. Indications were that people were regular prayers in their private lives, but less collectively. Following a further survey on prayer within the congregation, we further developed our SMS prayer requests, prayer teams after each worship service, Monday night prayer gatherings and instigated quarterly prayer events on Sunday evenings with about 35 persons in attendance. This is just a small beginning to ensure prayer is part of our church DNA. These strategic priorities were only the beginning, foundations upon which to build. The church continues to seek discernment from God on its ministry priorities moving forward. Rev Ken Clendinning, previously the Director of Ministries for Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT, has been serving as Interim Pastor at Ulverstone Baptist Church, TAS during 2017.
PRAC WINTER 2018 | 7
Plan Of Attack How To Maximise Church Strategy From NCLS Results By Sam Sterland, NCLS Research
Don’t review the results alone. These results are designed to be discussed as a group. Those who discuss it will find their insights going further. Who can you do this with? A leadership team is ideal, but if that won’t work for you, find a trusted person, a colleague in the next town, or in your organisation, a mentor, etc and make a time to meet. Use the workbook. Your results pack includes a workbook especially designed to make the conversations easier and the insights flow. Have a look through it and pick some pages that suit your style and team (see 2016ncls.org.au/workbook). I recommend doing at least one thing from each section, but go with what you think will work for you - we designed the workbook with this flexibility. Hopefully you’ll find the conversation really flowing, and you can’t take notes fast enough as people talk! Remember the 5 steps. If you’re looking at your results you’re up to step 3: ‘Evaluate’. See our ‘5 steps’ page for a lot of useful tips: 2016ncls.org.au/5steps (e.g. ‘10 ideas for communicating at church’, ‘Resources to help you make an action plan’). The survey results aren’t just for you, they are for everyone, and the process isn’t just for a talk-fest, it’s for action! Communicate with church. You and hopefully some other leaders have absorbed something about the results - now continue the process on with everyone else. They invested the time to fill out the forms. Let them know they’ve been heard, and how you are interpreting what the results mean. What do you see that is cause for celebration of what God is doing amongst us? Who do you want to affirm? Where are the challenges, or the opportunities? The more you involve people in interpreting the results, the more their own sense of investment and ownership of church is likely to grow.
8 | PRAC WINTER 2018
The AVERAGE AGE of people is
Over 3,000 churches around Australia took part in the 2016 National Church Life Survey, and have received their results in 2017. Local church leaders and denominational heads alike have been absorbing what it means for their ministries - how about you? How do you do this properly and get the most out of it? After all, it’s designed to help a church leader evaluate some important aspects of their church life and all church members get on board with future plans. Our websites (e.g. 2016ncls.org.au/after-survey) or the top videos on our YouTube channel are good places to look. As you discern what the results are really telling you, here’s some tips to follow:
59% of all people are female and 41%
0 15-29 yrs
all people have a 45% of university degree
all people were born in 69% of AUSTRALIA
a trade certificate, 22% have diploma or associate diploma
31% were born overseas a language 18% speak other than ENGLISH
primary or secondary 34% have school education
CHURCH BACKGROUND and ATTENDANCE
attenders here are new arrivals to 27% of this local church in the past five years. church 98% attend worship services at least monthly
Estimated CHURCH ATTENDANCE:
312 in 2011
319 in 2016
Your Church Life Profile has great graphics to help absorb the results You in 2016 - Community Church, Churchville (ZZ100050, 233 forms, 18 child forms)
3 Act! Some churches find the process has a revolutionary effect, particularly if they haven’t had many evaluation and planning conversations before. Others take on board what they have learned from the results, and hold them as important insights to carry through their next stages of planning. For example: ‘We have people here who want to see their gifts used more. As we run our services and activities in the next year, how will we help that happen?’, or ‘We’ve see a decrease in inviting to church, and in sharing faith. How will we understand that better, and what will we do to help it turn around?’ © 2017 NCLS Research | PO Box 968 North Sydney NSW 2059 | P: +61 2 9701 4479 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ncls.org.au
If you’ve gained insights from the survey, or if it has brought people together in constructive conversations, or served as useful input as you plan for the future, then it’s done its job. If the results haven’t been discussed or acted upon, then it’s a missed opportunity. So if you haven’t done that properly yet, it’s time. There’s a great summary section in the profile to begin exploring, with infographics of your church which you can put in the church bulletin or email, and there’s plenty of detail to drill down into for those who are ready to do that. One more thing: your future results will show what effect your plans have had. You can re-do the survey at any time, and get the results back within 2 weeks. There are churches who re-do the survey every year or two because they don’t want to wait for the next national survey to see if their decisions had the desired effects! Sam is a researcher, resource developer, and communicator at NCLS Research.
One of Crossover’s purposes is to reflect back to the church how we are doing and highlight trends in our culture that offer opportunities....
Published on Jul 25, 2018
One of Crossover’s purposes is to reflect back to the church how we are doing and highlight trends in our culture that offer opportunities....