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Taking the Survey

Step 2 in the NCD process

Before we go further we must understand that the survey itself cannot help a church without following some process to both prepare the congregation and leadership to seek better church health and develop and implement a plan of action to achieve that better health. If you do not prepare such a process, don't take the survey. The survey alone will not improve your church.

The survey uses the responses of 30 people actively participating in the ministries of a congregation to measure the health of a church. These will include lay leaders, people actively and regularly attending your ministries and those who are active in small groups. (Note: Every church has small groups. The technical definition of a “small group” is any group of people you meet with regularly which is small &150; 12 or less people.)

The survey only uses responses from 30 people since this number will give an accurate reading of the church. Why not have everyone fill out a survey? Not everyone participates as actively in the church. It makes little sense to ask someone who participates very irregularly, or only in a worship service, to measure the church’s total health.

In addition, this survey is scientifically calibrated to accurately measure your church’s health. Tests done with more survey participants show no advantage to using more than 30 people. In fact, in large churches where multiple surveys were filled out simultaneously by different groups have consistently shown the same “minimum factor” for the church. This has been true of churches with attendance above 1,000 and multiple diverse worship services.

As with all surveys, the NCD survey is best taken by drawing all the participants together to fill out the survey together. Do not have people take the surveys home to fill them out. Experience shows that often those surveys take a long, long time to return. In addition, taking the survey together provides a sense of community that will last throughout the process.

“What about those left out?” Never fear. There will be plenty of opportunities to include the rest of the congregation when the time comes to reflect on the results of the survey and to devise a plan of action from them.

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