Our goal with this survey was to find out how our congregation engaged as a church over the past year and give opportunity for feedback. And you provided! Thank-you to the 206 of you that took the time to fill this out. With 55% of you filling it out for your household as well, we are considering this data to represent around 300-350 people in our congregation.
So, what are the results?
How did everyone stay connected to our church community?
Most of you stayed connected through our Livestreamed Services, 49%. Another 21% of you most connected through any in-person services or ministries that we could offer, and another 20% of you connected to your small group. We are so grateful that all these ministries could continue to function throughout this season, and we could continue to be the church wherever we were.
How often were people connected through our livestream corporate worship, and how was your engagement with that?
75% of you connected regularly – every week or a few times a month. 65% felt you were fully or somewhat engaged with our live-streamed worship services, with most rating their engagement between a 6 and 9 on our scale. Many commented that the quality of our livestream improved over the year, and the majority (56%) gave it a 7,8, or 9 in quality. This is due to our amazing tech people that have worked hard to bring improvements every week over the last 11 months that we have been livestreaming.
So, what did our congregation have to say about our corporate worship services?
Out of the 109 comments, here are some general themes that came out from those who responded to our open-ended question (themes mentioned by at least 5 or more people):
- Services were good – 22%
- Music was lacking – 18%
- Thank you to staff – 11%
- Stage/backdrop was too dark – 9%
- Wish we had a full band – 8%
- Tech improvement suggestions – 7%
- Services were poor – 5%
- We disliked worship leaders in masks – 5%
- Messages were lacking – 5%
With the other ministry opportunities that happened over this season, how did our congregation engage with these other options?
While half of you did not engage in any of the other ministry livestream options, 25% engaged in Family Experience, 17% in the women’s / MOMs ministry and 6% of you participated in the Seniors Livestream services. Engagement was high for all of these, with 68% giving your engagement level a 7 or higher.
There weren’t many comments on these ministries, but out of the 32 comments, some of the common themes were:
- Services were good – 15%
- Women’s/MoMs was great – 15%
- Found it difficult to engage – 15%
- There were audio/tech issues – 10%
- Our kids connected to FX well – 8%
Are you ready to come back?
When asked if you were ready to come back to in-person services, you overwhelmingly said you were either excited and ready, or willing, but cautious (83% of you)! Our church wants to re-gather and we have seen that this summer. At the time of the survey (June 2021), 56% of you planned to attend our Sunday Service in-person in the fall, with 13% preferring to attend online.
How are you getting your information?
Our Attridge congregation has over 2000 people in our database, and we wanted to know how to best to get the word out about what is happening in our community. Much of our congregation uses our weekly email to find out what is happening (60%). Our website is used by 13% of you, and the verbal announcements on stage are what 10% of you rely on.
We hope with the changes and updates to our website, there will be more people that can count on it as a place to find information, but our weekly email will continue to be the constant communication tool throughout the year to let you know what is going on. We also encourage you to follow us on Instagram and download our Church Center app as these will continue to be places to communicate and connect.
How did we do?
We asked for an honest assessment of how you felt our church responded during the pandemic to continue to provide ministry and connection for our church community. We were incredibly encouraged that 79% of you felt that we were effective or kind of effective in our response. And many of you left kind messages to staff, thanking them for the effort and energy put into our response.
However, 21% of you felt our response was lacking, with 12% feeling disappointed about it. This is a fair assessment for those of you that desired connection and spiritual care in ways that we did not offer. We did miss the mark for some of you and we are reviewing how we could have done things differently.
What did we miss and what do you hope for?
As we asked for feedback on what we missed, here are the main things that were mentioned by multiple people (out of 74 comments):
- Calls/connection with staff – 31%
- More seniors events – 10%
- More small group gatherings/prayer meetings – 9%
And what are people hoping for our church in a post-pandemic future? (out of 155 comments):
- Gather again/back to normal – 26%
- Connection with people in my church – 18%
- Unity – 13%
- Continue to mix in person and online – 7%
- Reaching our community better – 6%
- More gospel sharing/preaching – 4%
- Reconciliation work – 4%
- More connection with staff – 4%
- Full band – 4%
From both responses, we can see that many of you are hungry for connection and Christian community. There was a desire for more individual connection with our staff than we provided this year. Many of you longed for a personal message to find out how you were doing, and this is an area we struggled in. Seeing this data has helped us realize that we could have done more. To those feeling abandoned, we are sorry. While several of you reached out to us, we could have done more to reach out to those that didn’t.
Many of you are desiring a church that is connected and unified. And that is the desire of our church leadership as well. This survey did bring out some of the disunity among us, which has laid heavy on our hearts. This past season has seen a lot of division over many issues, but our consistent prayer has been that we would be able to listen and understand each other, give each other grace, and unite around the love of Christ.
To understand what we’re navigating as we come back together, we have made a document that shows some of the diverse and opposing comments we received. The challenge ahead of us is to choose love for each other rather than sowing more seeds of discontent and division. To cultivate curiosity and understanding, rather than rejection. To honour each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, each with their own experiences, perspectives, and personalities.
Some possible questions to ask yourself:
- Can I love the person sitting next to me that has a different view on how things should have been handled this year?
- Can I give grace to someone with a challenging viewpoint on how to live out their Christian faith?
In encouraging this unity, we are not asking for a blind attempt at unanimity, rather an attempt to thrive together as the Church even with our differences.
As leaders, we will continue making decisions and moving forward in the ways that we sense Jesus leading our church. We don’t take that lightly, and hope that you will join in prayer for God’s wisdom, Christ’s love, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance for our congregation.
Attridge Ministry Staff