Dive Deep into The Survey Questions

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Question 1: As a Member of the congregation, I know what is expected of me.

Why This Matters: We need to know what is expected of us if we are to develop a strong sense of belonging within NRUMC. Clarifying expectations creates a sense of stability, assuring members that they are valued. Being able to answer the question, “How should I be giving of myself?” with “A clear set of expectations” is one of the ways members know they are truly contributing something of value to their congregation. Clear expectations lay the foundation for everything else our congregation is called to do and be. Without clear expectations, members may drift - eventually, right out the door.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.79 – below the Protestant overall average of 4.01.

The Challenge for NRUMC: How can we best create and share a clear set of expectations for ourselves as engaged members of NRUMC?

Question 2: As a Member of the congregation, I know what is expected of me.

Why This Matters: We need to know what is expected of us if we are to develop a strong sense of belonging within NRUMC. Clarifying expectations creates a sense of stability, assuring members that they are valued. Being able to answer the question, “How should I be giving of myself?” with “A clear set of expectations” is one of the ways members know they are truly contributing something of value to their congregation. Clear expectations lay the foundation for everything else our congregation is called to do and be. Without clear expectations, members may drift - eventually, right out the door.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.79 – below the Protestant overall average of 4.01.

The Challenge for NRUMC: How can we best create and share a clear set of expectations for ourselves as engaged members of NRUMC?

Question 3: In my congregation, I regularly have the opportunity to do what I do best.

Why This Matters: Gallup research shows that members who regularly have the opportunity to do what they do best within their churches are more engaged than those who don’t. But In the majority of congregations across the country, individuals’ talent and strengths go unrecognized - a huge loss of human potential. Helping members do what they do best is not just a nice, charitable idea. It is a practical objective that is powerfully linked to outcomes that are good for the congregation. Imagine what could happen at NRUMC if we could more fully unleash all of our congregation’s human potential!

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.67 – below the Protestant overall average of 3.80.

The Challenge for NRUMC: How can we better ask and get to know what NRUMC members do best? Should asking this be a routine part of new member orientation?

Question 4: In the last month, I have received recognition or praise from someone in my congregation.

Why This Matters: Leaders too often operate by the maxim that "no news is good news." But Gallup research and basic psychological theory run contrary to that approach.  Human beings do not thrive when they are ignored. We are wired to need attention. If we do something we feel is worthy of praise, and consistently hear "no news," we soon give up on that behavior and try something.  Be generous with praise, and first and foremost, be genuine with praise.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.3 – the third lowest score we gave ourselves on the survey.

The Challenge for NRUMC: How can we create a "culture of authentic praise" within NRUMC?

Question 5: The spiritual leaders in my congregation seem to care about me as a person.

Why This Matters: A healthy congregation is one in which people feel comfortable and secure-enough to experiment, to make mistakes, to challenge, to share information, and to support each other. It is a place where the members are prepared to give the spiritual leaders the benefit of the doubt. None of this happens if individual congregants do not feel cared about. Relationships are the glue that holds all great congregations together. Leaders set the tone, creating a climate where members feel valued. Relationship building is seldom easy, but there are some simple things you can do; be sincere, tell people you care, and get to know the people in the congregation.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.90 – one of the highest scores we gave ourselves.

The Challenge for NRUMC: What can each of us do to further enrich NRUMC's caring climate- and foster a deeper level of spirtual engagement.

Question 6: There is someone in my congregation who encourages my spiritual development.

Why This Matters: If you take an interest in your fellow members and encourage their development, it sends a powerful message. It tells them they have something valuable to contribute, and that others want to facilitate their development - so that they can contribute even more. When we help fellow NRUMC members grow, it affirms to those members that we appreciate them and that they are worth the effort.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.49 – well below the Protestant overall average of 3.83.

The Challenge for NRUMC: How can we engage each other with greater frequency and ease around spiritual development? How can we make such engagement more comfortable to initiate?

Question 7: As a member of my congregation, my opinion seems to count.

Why This Matters: Faith communities do not function well when the people in them feel insignificant or irrelevant. When a church makes decisions that affect its members without getting their input first, people feel like their opinions don’t matter. You do not have to always agree with what others say, but being open to hearing their ideas will make a lasting impact. Two-way communication is an important factor in how members
feel about their connection to the congregation.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.42 – below the Protestant overall average of 3.6.

The Challenge for NRUMC: In addition to this fall’s Member Engagement Survey, how else should we be seeking out the opinions of our members to help shape the direction of NRUMC?

Question 8: The mission or purpose of my congregation makes me feel my participation is important.

Why This Matters: Congregations, by their nature, should be mission-driven. Because of their spiritual underpinnings, churches have more at stake than the financial bottom line or next years’ sales growth. These are appropriate goals for businesses, but churches have broader, more eternal goals that address the innate human need to be a part of something bigger. That something bigger is a sense of mission, and it should affect everything a congregation does.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.70 – below the Protestant overall average of 3.94.

The Challenge for NRUMC: How can we communicate the mission of NRUMC with even more clarity and frequency? How do we better keep NRUMC’s focus on fulfilling its mission?

Question 9: The other members of my congregation are committed to spiritual growth.

Why This Matters: It may sound obvious, but congregations should be committed to the spiritual growth of their members. Gallup’s research found that only 50% of Protestants strongly agree with this item. This could indicate that members perceive too little emphasis on spiritual growth within their congregations. Or perhaps members are unsure about what spiritual growth really is. Either way, this is cause for concern. Although members don’t expect everyone’s spirituality to look the same, they do expect a similar commitment to spiritual growth.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.80 (our 3rd highest rating)–but below the Protestant overall average of 3.98.

The Challenge for NRUMC: How do we define spiritual growth? How can we tell the stories of our members in a way that helps our congregation understand spiritual growth?

Question 10: Aside from family members, I have a best friend in my congregation.

Why This Matters: It may sound obvious, but congregations should be committed to the spiritual growth of their members. Gallup’s research found that only 50% of Protestants strongly agree with this item. This could indicate that members perceive too little emphasis on spiritual growth within their congregations. Or perhaps members are unsure about what spiritual growth really is. Either way, this is cause for concern. Although members don’t expect everyone’s spirituality to look the same, they do expect a similar commitment to spiritual growth.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.07 – our second lowest rating on the survey.

The Challenge for NRUMC: What can we do to create an environment at NRUMC where more genuine friendships can flourish? What is the barrier to more friendships?

Question 11: In the last six months, someone in my congregation has talked to me about the progress of my spiritual growth.

Why This Matters: Just as members need to know the expectations of church membership, they also must know how they are progressing in meeting those expectations - particularly in the area of spiritual growth. Congregations are woefully inadequate when it comes to providing feedback to members about their progress. All members need feedback to know how far they have come in their spiritual journey. They need ways to track their progress. Leaders can help members assess their progress and identify resources that will help them continue to grow.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 2.26 – our lowest rating on the entire survey.

The Challenge for NRUMC: How can we better explain what spiritual goals and growth towards those goals look like? What venues exist to talk openly about the spiritual journeys we are on?

Question 12: In my congregation, I have opportunities to learn and grow.

Why This Matters: Having opportunities to learn and grow means different things to different people. Some want to learn from challenging and powerful sermons. Others prefer short-term classes on subjects that interest them. Some would like to participate in small groups on a long-term basis for support. Others favor in-depth Bible studies led by Pastors. Still others want opportunities to serve the poor in their community. Ideally, a broad variety of opportunities should be presented to meet the needs and desires of your members.

How We Rated Ourselves: On the 1 to 5 scale (1=Strongly Disagree & 5=Strongly Agree), we averaged a 3.95 – our highest rating on the entire survey.

The Challenge for NRUMC: Given that we share a belief that opportunities to learn and grow abound at NRUMC, why do we seem reluctant to engage each other on the topic of our spiritual growth?

Why Did the Church do a Survey?

The Member Engagement Survey will give us a collective view of the spiritual health of our congregation. The data will show us where we are doing well and help us see the areas that need our attention to make us a stronger congregation.

 

The confidential survey features 25 items carefully chosen to measure engagement and spiritual commitment that are essential to spiritual health. The survey will only take approximately five minutes to complete.

FAQs

What is the purpose of the survey?

This survey measures the engagement and spiritual commitment
level of the members of NRUMC.  Survey results eliminate the guesswork and identify actions that NRUMC can take to make ours a more engaged church.  Results highlight our strengths to help us build upon them.

Who should take the survey?

The survey is for all attenders/members aged 18 and older.
Anyone who considers him or herself a part of the NRUMC congregation or community, whether officially a member or not, is eligible to take the survey. Remember, conduct the survey once per person and not once per household. For example, if a member household includes a husband, wife, and daughter age 19, then all three people should complete the survey.

What about confidentiality?

This survey is NOT housed or administrated by anyone at NRUMC.  The survey link takes you directly to Gallup.  All responses are confidential.  Gallup is a member of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and, as such, abides by specific rules of conduct that include adherence to strict confidentiality in survey administration and reporting of results. Gallup will not reveal any individual responses to anyone.

What do we mean by engagement?

It is the degree to which an individual feels like he or she belongs to their local faith community - how much they view their faith community as family; how much they feel ownership for the mission & ministry of their church.

Why does engagement matter?

Engaged members drive the spiritual health of a congregation.  Additionally, the creator of this survey (a United Methodist Pastor)
has done research that shows that engaged members:
o Live lives that are more satisfying
o Are more inviting of outsiders into their congregation
o More actively serve those in need – both inside and outside of their church
o Are more giving of their resources and time to charitable causes.

How will the survey results be used?

The leadership team will receive the compiled results from Gallup and use them to gain additional insight into how the members feel about our congregation. We will use the results to identify specific actions we can take to further meet the spiritual needs of our members.

What is the timeline for the survey and results?

The survey is open until the end of September.  We encourage everyone to take the survey as soon as they are able.  The Long Range Planning Team is giving out stickers to those who already completed their survey at their Starting Point table!  Results will be given to the LRP Team and presented to the congregation in November.

What if I prefer a paper copy of the survey?

Paper copies are available in the church office along with a confidential dropbox located outside the office door.  Please call the church office if you need any assistance. 

Is this an evaluation of NRUMC leaders?

This survey is not an evaluation of the performance of our Pastors and spiritual leaders. It is a measurement of the level of congregational engagement that members of NRUMC feel today.  If you have concerns around NRUMC you can email pastors@nrumc.org to reach out to our pastoral team.