As a church leader, it’s important to know your congregation—who they are, what they believe, and why they have chosen to attend your particular church. Of course, it’s advisable to spend time with those in your church and get to know them on a personal level, but they may not always be candid with you as a leader—especially when they are struggling.
Meeting regularly with every person in your church can also be time-consuming, or even impossible if you lead a large church. For this reason, you may want to consider conducting a church survey. A church survey should be made available to all members and/or regular attenders, and participants should be allowed to complete the survey anonymously.
The specific church survey questions included in the survey can vary, based on what you want to know about your congregation, but here are a few categories of questions you should consider including:
Questions About Basic Demographic Information
You should start your survey by asking questions that will help you determine the demographics of your congregation. This will include basic questions about age, gender, race, household size, location (how many miles from the church), and more. This information will give you insight into the type of people your church is currently reaching. It will also likely reveal some demographics that your church currently isn’t ministering to.
Questions About Basic Beliefs
While it can be difficult to get too deep into what people believe in a short survey, you can get some sense by asking some pointed questions. You can likely determine if those in your congregation have a basic understanding of how one is saved, or if they know who Jesus is, or what they think about the Bible.
Questions About Acceptance and Belonging
Another great thing to determine through a church survey is the levels of acceptance and belonging those in your congregation experience. Just because someone attends regularly doesn’t automatically mean they feel connected to others in the church. While there will always be a certain percentage of people who don’t feel like they belong, if the majority of your congregation feels this way, your church has a very real problem that needs to be addressed.
Questions About Agreement/Disagreement with the Church’s Direction
If your church is one that has a stated mission statement, vision statement, and/or goals, your survey should include questions about them. Do those in your congregation understand them? Do they agree with them? Are they on board with the current direction of the church?
How Church Survey Questions Should Be Structured
In order to get the most feedback, church survey questions should be multiple choice, and the optional answers that you include are almost as important as the questions themselves. You need to make sure you list all possible answers to each question. Otherwise, people will not know how to answer and may choose to just not complete the survey altogether.
Consider a Purchasing a Church Survey Designed by Experts
If putting together a survey on your own sounds too difficult, overwhelming, or time-consuming, you might want to consider purchasing a pre-packaged church survey that already has the questions and multiple-choice answers written. A great one is the Church Vitality Survey by VitalChurch Ministry. VitalChurch Ministry has some of the leading experts in church diagnostics on their staff. They have been conducting church assessments for decades, and recently created a church survey using some of their most insightful questions.