How the Best Church Assessments Enable Leaders to Gain and Give Wisdom
Many churches look to assessments to measure the health of their ministry and congregation. Unfortunately, churches commonly run into challenges that make finding the right assessment difficult—and gaining valuable wisdom even harder. In this blog, we’ll explain how the best assessments empower church leaders to stay in their sweet spot—better knowing their people and building deeper relationships.
Measuring Church Health Can Be Daunting
Like people, churches can benefit from regular health assessments, and if you’re reading this blog, you've probably already come to this understanding. Despite this, many churches continue to tell us assessments are a struggle to use—and we get their pain.
Many assessments simply don’t get the job done. They can be cumbersome to use, but that’s not all. Check out this short list of reasons Champions we talk to say assessments cause roadblocks:
It’s hard to know if the assessment and questions can be trusted
They feel under-qualified to use and understand assessments
They don’t know how to reach the different types of groups in their congregation
Assessments are hard to deploy
Achieving engagement and participation can be challenging
They have to wait days or even months to get results
Results aren’t presented clearly
It’s difficult to know how to act on results
We get that administering useful assessments can be a daunting task, so we’ll explain what you need to look for in an effective assessment. You’ll learn how using the right assessment makes knowing your people easier. We’ll also show you what to do with the information you gather, and provide valuable resources you'll need along the way.
Let’s dive in!
Using Assessments to Get Back in Your Sweet Spot
Because of the time required to launch and understand standard assessments, pastors can end up spending more effort trying to analyze, and less of it connecting. This takes them out of their sweet spot. The best assessments can streamline the process and yield results that help strengthen your ministry and relationships with your people. Here’s how...
Assessments Must Ask the Right Questions
Most churches don’t hear from the majority of their members, making it difficult to know where people are spiritually, or if their church is connecting with and engaging them. As a pastor, or church leader, you need to know the main issues your people are facing in order to better serve them. Gain the insights you need by ensuring your assessment asks the right questions, so your leadership can better understand the spiritual state of your congregants and church.
Assessments that ask the right questions:
Provide a Deeper Understanding of Your People and Your Church
We’re not just talking demographic information and simple metrics. Leading assessments leverage questions that produce new or deeper knowledge. In addition to providing useful information to leaders, the right assessments also give participants visibility into where they currently are in their journey.
Help You Differentiate Between States & Traits
Knowing the difference between states (current thoughts, feelings, or behaviors) and traits (enduring characteristics) helps you understand your congregants now, and how to serve them best throughout their growth journey. The right assessment can reveal both states and traits in a way that makes sense and provides actionable next steps.
Are the Result of Years of Research
Researchers and scientists don’t take years to create an assessment for the bragging rights. Data-informed assessments have been created to ask questions that help uncover important information so you can make a real difference for your people—something pastors can get on board with. Asking the right questions and analyzing the answers gives you the insights you need to provide actionable next steps and support personal growth—all of which are natural bi-products of an intentionally-created and repeatedly-tested assessment. In the end, the right assessment should only help strengthen and grow your ministry and people—something that matters to your people too. That’s why the best assessments are backed by years of development.
They’re Easy to Deploy and Drive High Engagement
We get that sending out an assessment and collecting the results can be challenging. With digital assessments, your options of distribution increase with ease, and can drive higher participation.
Assessments that are easy to deploy:
Are Readily Accessible
When you can launch assessments via text message, email, and web it takes the grunt work out of creating, distributing, and collecting your own handmade assessment—not to mention, trying to read the results.
Can Drive Participation
Digital assessments exist that are easy to take, accessible anywhere, and display results immediately. These ready-to-go evaluations can be used right away, which helps maximize participation. When participants see others have completed the assessment, it will likely encourage them to follow through to completion as well.
They Can Be Taken By a Variety of People
Churches can’t always predict what they’re going to find from conducting an assessment, and, it’s hard to know the current state of each congregant. However, the best assessments can deliver useful information from diverse sets of answers. This may look like one that can be taken by a variety of participants, generate an accurate and holistic view of your church, or focuses on a specific area of interest.
Assessments that are versatile:
Include Questions Centered Around a Variety of Areas
This could include finances, daily spiritual habits, relationships, community involvement, views of the church’s leadership, etc. Doing so can leverage individual results that give participants and church leaders visibility into their current formation.
Can Support the Entire Church, Small Groups, and Individuals
In addition to covering different areas of topics, the best assessments can be applied to a variety of groups throughout your church.
They Include Actionable Reports and Next Steps
Collecting and aggregating results with paper assessments is time consuming and exhausting. When churches find themselves stuck here, it’s time to use something that delivers more value—like real-time results and actionable outcomes. Such components provide participants with value the moment they complete the assessment.
Assessments like this should include:
Real-time reporting means when you ask today, you know today, so you can take action fast. This also decreases the chances of viewing old or inaccurate results. Additionally, assessments with the capability to produce individual results offer a whole new level of value to participants.
It can be hard to tap into the value of your data when you don't know how to interpret it. Effective assessments often include helpful visualizations that display your data in a way that makes sense. This could look like graphs, scorecards, or short blurbs of text.
Suggested, Actionable Next Steps
Obtaining information is one thing. Knowing the best steps to take from there is another. Look for assessments that provide next steps after completion. These could be as simple as future content suggestions that keep people engaged and growing.
Where to Find the Right Survey
If you’re reading this, and you feel like knowing where to find the right assessment is going to be a challenge, you’re in good company. Thankfully, a handful of great assessments are available today, and the power to obtain them is at your fingertips.
Gloo’s assessment environment enables you to select from a library of trusted products—each backed with years of development and testing. With the help of these assessments, you can enjoy measuring the health of your church with ease, and gathering the information and guidance you need to better know your people and build deeper relationships.
All assessments on Gloo include:
Versatility for a variety of groups and people
Actionable next steps
Purpose Behind the Questions
Church assessments aren’t just about asking questions. The best ones start by asking the right questions, but then report and visualize the information in actionable ways that empower church leaders to focus on growing relationships with their people. Backed by years of data science and research, they are readily accessible, easy to use, and effective for equipping churches.
We get that finding the right assessment and understanding how to use it can be complicated—to say the least. The best assessments result in keeping church leaders focused on what they care about most—knowing their people better, building deeper relationships, and changing more lives.