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10 Church Survey Questions to Connect with Congregants

People often join a church because they’re looking for community and spiritual growth—but they also need to feel a connection to the mission of the church. Assessments on Gloo help you measure spiritual growth and the health of your church, but there are times when you need to ask church-specific questions to help you connect with congregants on a personal level.

This blog will walk you through 10 church survey questions that let your people know you care—and give them a voice in the way you do ministry. But first, let’s discuss the differences between an assessment and survey, and take a minute to understand some of the pain points that cause congregants to feel disengaged in church.

 

Church Assessments & Surveys

Church surveys are capable of collecting data, but typically aren’t configured to visualize a score or result—they simply serve the administrator with gathered information. Assessment questions are research-driven to collect specific results, and often rely on normative data to transform individual results or measurements directly into standardized scores. 

Assessments on Gloo are validated, and each offers the ability to add your own survey questions, up to ten of them, so you get the best of both assessments and surveys—all in one tool.

 

Pain Points that Lead to Disengagement

When you know some of the common reasons people feel disengaged, or leave a church, you’re able to craft questions that can help you understand how your congregants feel about specifics related to your church.

Many studies have verified these pain-points, as reported by disengaged congregants:

There are dozens of reasons people give for leaving a church—many of which you can’t influence, such as moving to a new residence, but knowing how your people feel about things you can influence may help you recognize areas where you can strengthen your efforts to re-engage them.


10 Questions

When you understand why people feel a disconnect, you can begin to offer solutions, but only after you know what really matters to your members. The following questions address some of these pain points, among other important questions. The multiple-choice answers can also help guide you as you create survey questions of your own.

 

1. How well do you understand the mission of ____________ church? 

Answers could include:

  1. I feel a deep connection with it.

  2. I relate to it well enough.

  3. I don’t feel connected with it.

  4. I don’t understand what the mission is.

Why this is important:

A clear mission should help inform all your church strategies, but if you’re not clear on what your mission is, or people don’t feel connected to it, it’s likely they won’t connect with your ministry strategy either. Carey Nieuwhof explains that to get people passionate about the church mission, you need to “focus all programs around your mission.” If people feel a disconnect, it may be a good time to review your church programs.

 

2. Do you leave services feeling spiritually fed?

Answers could include:

  1. Yes. The sermons fill me spiritually.

  2. Often. I know the pastor has my best interest at heart.

  3. Sometimes. I feel the sermons aren’t as relevant to me as they could be.

  4. Rarely. I’m feeling disconnected with the sermons for personal reasons.

  5. I’m feeling disconnected because of the doctrine being taught.

Why this is important:

Growing spiritually is one of the biggest factors in joining a church—and ensuring people have opportunities to experience growth is an essential part of effective ministry. Understanding why they don’t feel fed is an important first step to knowing what to do next to help your people “prepare [their] heart for growth.”

 

3. Do you feel the church is sensitive to the major needs of congregants?

Answers could include:

  1. Yes. I’ve seen the church help people with real needs.

  2. Yes. I’ve been the recipient of help from the church when I needed it.

  3. I’ve heard the pastor express a desire to help congregants.

  4. I’m unsure.

  5. No. I’ve experienced a major need, or seen others with needs, and felt that nobody noticed.

Why this is important:

Your members need to know they matter, and that they have a solid support if they were to experience hardship. If they feel isolated in their struggles, they’re likely to look elsewhere for a caring community.

 

4. Does the worship music at ____________ church resonate with you?

  1. Yes. The music helps me feel a deeper connection to God.

  2. Yes. It helps me feel more self-reflection.

  3. Sometimes. 

  4. I don’t feel a connection to the worship music.

Why this is important:

Music has a sacred role in church. As author Jonathan Malm states, “Music is a powerful vehicle for information . . . it is the language of deep truth.” Music is a way to tell a story and connect with your congregants, and while it may not be the top factor for whether or not people stay engaged, it can help them feel more engaged in your message. 

 

5. Do you feel _____________ church spends money in a way that aligns with its mission?

Answers could include:

  1. Yes. I feel they’re spending on things that really matter.

  2. I feel they could be more careful in their spending.

  3. I don’t know where they’re spending, and would like to understand it so I can feel engaged in the initiatives.

  4. I don’t believe church spending is something I need to be concerned with.

Why this is important:

One of the most common challenges churches face when it comes to giving is that their “ministry budgets don’t align with the interest, values, and needs of givers,” according to Generis. The people who attend your church fund your vision. If they’re educated in the way funds are used, they may be more likely to support new programs and initiatives that require more spending. 

 

6. Do you feel engaged in ______________ church?

Answers could include:

  1. Yes. I feel very engaged in the church, its mission, and initiatives.

  2. Yes. I feel engaged in the church.

  3. I enjoy being in the church, but don’t take an active role.

  4. I feel I’m sometimes watching from the sidelines.

  5. I don’t feel engaged.

Why this is important:

“It’s engaged Christians who advance the mission. Engaged people are passionate people. They know what the mission is. They serve in it. They live it out,” Carey Nieuwhof explains. Engaged people have the potential to drive growth and excite others—which is why many of the assessments on Gloo focus on engagement.

 

7. Do you feel welcomed at _________________ church?

Answers could include:

  1. Yes. The pastor makes me feel welcomed.

  2. Yes. The other congregants make me feel welcomed.

  3. Yes. Both the pastor and other congregants made me feel welcomed.

  4. I don’t feel welcomed.

Why this is important:

A recent study revealed that “the most important activity of effectively evangelistic churches is to offer a welcoming, inclusive environment.” People want to feel welcomed, and that they belong. This welcoming may begin at services, but can extend to the way your current members interact with new attendees. Understanding if people feel welcomed can help you know how to improve experiences.

 

8. We’re planning to implement several small groups, programs, or events in the next six months, and want to get a count of possible participants. Of the following, which would you most likely attend?

Answers could include:

  1. A mom’s group.

  2. A father’s group.

  3. Marriage and relationship classes.

  4. A youth mission trip focused on building faith for the future.

  5. A scripture exploration group.

Why this matters:

Christianity Today International states that small groups are “crucial to the life of any church” because they build community, and encourage new friendships. Knowing what kinds of small groups people are interested in joining is the first step in creating groups they’ll want to be an active part of. Thom S. Rainer also explains that getting people involved in groups can help people feel more connected, and less likely to disengage.

 

9. POLL: We have the opportunity to help individuals in the local shelter this winter, but need more resources to make the biggest impact on their lives. Which way would you be most able to contribute? 

Answers could include:

  1. Taking a turn in the soup kitchen.

  2. Donating clothing.

  3. Donating food.

  4. Making a cash donation.

  5. Any of the above.

  6. Circumstances prevent me from contributing at this time.

Why this matters:

By asking a question like this, you’re able to get a commitment from congregants before you even begin your project, helping them feel more connected to the people and cause they’re serving. 

 

10. If you started attending ______________ church in the last year, what’s mainly responsible for bringing you through the doors for the first time?

Answers could include:

  1. A friend or family member.

  2. Posts or ads on social media.

  3. A special event or program.

  4. I saw the building and was curious.

  5. An online search.

  6. I’ve been attending longer than a year.

Why this matters:

It’s important to understand how people are learning about your church so you can do more of it—and so you can experiment with driving more people to your website through improved outreach campaigns.

 

Prioritize Survey Questions

You don’t want to overwhelm congregants with too many questions all at once, especially when those questions show up at the end of a long assessment—so make sure you prioritize the questions you want to ask. For example, if you’re about to plan out your sermon strategy or budget for the year, include questions that relate to new projects, spending, and whether or not congregants are feeling spiritually fed during weekend services. If you’re trying to engage new congregants, ask if they’ve felt welcomed, which small group interests them, etc.

A guide to church survey questions. 10 questions to ask your congregation.

Assessments on Gloo + Church Surveys

When you add survey questions to assessments on Gloo, you’re able to tailor scientifically-backed research with your church’s unique concerns. To see how you can ask the right questions for fall, download this guide for churches, Crafting Questions for Deeper Connections.

If you’re new to Gloo and want to learn more about how Assessments can help you, request a demo, and a representative will reach out to you soon!