Thank you for your interest in having a vital, missional congregation. The ELCA developed this 15 item survey to help your congregation quickly discover its strengths and challenges in areas important to ministry. The survey should take you approximately 10 minutes to complete.
Our hope is that you will use this information along with information about your local context to focus your ministry. By focusing your ministry you strengthen not only your congregation’s vitality but also your service to God’s mission.
Who should complete this survey?
There is no upper limit to the number of people that can take the survey, however, it is very important for at least one pastor and one lay person from any congregation to complete it. Ideally some of the lay people completing the survey will be members of the congregational council or in other leadership positions.
What happens when we are done?
Once the survey is closed the data will be sent to a researcher who will analyze it and complete a written report (PDF). The report will be several pages long and include text and color charts describing your congregation in five areas of congregational vitality.
That report will be shared with the synod staff person with whom you have been working. It usually takes about 2 weeks from the time the survey is closed for the report to be completed. The synod staff person will arrange a time to share the report with you to help you make sense of the information and determine appropriate next steps. We are currently piloting this process so thank you for being willing to help us develop this resource by sharing your feedback with the synod representative!
How was this survey developed?
Since 2010 the ELCA has been working with ecumenical partners to develop a new way of measuring congregational vitality. After an initial pilot in 2011 this survey was modified and tested in 2012 with over 6000 people in 73 congregations from around the country. Statistical analysis of the survey’s reliability and validity showed that the tool is ready for use. These findings were presented at the 2012 Religious Research Association conference and are available upon request.