Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How to adminster a church survey

My pastor, Ben Dubow, has asked me to work up a church survey. Now, he probably meant something like figure out how many people attend the church, but I'm getting into this. (Warning: strong likelihood of overdoing it!) Right now, I'm thinking of a church census, where once a year we administer a survey to everyone in the church. (Should we make them travel back to their home towns to take it?) I'll post more about the contents of the survey in the future, but for now, I would like to ask advice on two issues.

1) Other church surveys? Do you know of other church surveys? I'm trying to collect examples so as to learn from them. I've posted what I've collected so far on my website.

2) Mode of administration. Ben has indicated that it wouldn't work to give the full survey during a church service (I guess "survey" doesn't equal "sacrament"). He's okay with a short survey, though. So, here's what I was thinking.

During the service, pass out a one-page survey with demographic & church attendance type questions. At the bottom, have a detachable sheet asking if they would be willing to take a longer survey. If "yes", they have the option of doing it on-line (e.g., survey monkey) or by snail-mail.

This approach would offer several advantages.
- The one page survey would be filled out by just about everyone there, so it would give an accurate snapshot of who attends on Sundays.
- We could compare those who are willing to take the longer survey with those who are not, allowing us to detect for bias.
- Doing this annually would allow us to chart trends over time in who attends services
- This mode would give us information about how many people prefer web-stuff versus snail mail
- Especially the web survey could also be given to known attendees who weren't there that Sunday... allowing for a greater "n".

Thoughts? Improvements? Warnings to Ben?


Nate Loucks said...

I'm fascinated by doing a survey and thought about doing one at LC as well. If you could, post some updates as you go through the process. I'd like to see how it turns out and the results.

Your PDF's on your sample page aren't working for me, though. Is it me or have you not uploaded them yet?

Brad Wright said...

I will post on what we end up doing.

Sorry about the links... my goof. I've got it fixed now.

(Just learned how to do a website)