Exploring Evangelism Questionnaire
The EEQ was developed to help pastors and church leaders get a better understanding of their congregation's interest in sharing their faith and help identify strengths and weaknesses that will help your church be more effective in its evangelism efforts.
Conducting the Survey:
The two elements which will make your survey successful are: 1) making sure everyone receives a survey, and 2) getting back as many completed surveys as possible.
1. Making Sure Everyone Receives A Survey
I would encourage you to survey everyone in the church. By “everyone” I mean either all members or regular attendees. You could either mail the survey to all members, or use time during or after a worship service to survey regular attendees. Surveying only members has the advantage of getting responses from those who have made a commitment to the church. Surveying attendees has the advantage of getting responses from people on the fringes of the church. (Note: the questionnaire would be difficult for first-time visitors to complete. Also, it is difficult for one person to answer the questions for everyone in the household—each spouse should complete a survey.)
You can survey a specific group such as the church board or those in attendance at Sunday School. Just keep in mind that your results will only reflect the opinions of the group you surveyed. For example, the opinions of those who serve on the church board may not accurately reflect the opinion of all members. Or a result that indicates people feel the youth ministry is being given more attention than desired may reflect that only adults without children were surveyed. Surveying a specific group is okay as long as you don’t jump to the conclusion that “everyone feels that way”.
Whether you survey the membership, attendees, or a specific group, make sure everyone who qualifies receives a survey—do not try to sample. A group needs to have more than 400 people before sampling should be considered, and even then, consider it only if costs are prohibitive. If your congregation has more than 400 people and you would like to use sampling rather than surveying everyone, please contact the Church Growth Research Center for further instruction.
2. Getting the Surveys Back
Your plan for retrieving completed surveys is as important as your plan for distributing them. The biggest advantage of using a worship service to complete the survey is that it can be collected immediately and the response rate will be high. If you choose to mail the questionnaire, try to get 70% of the surveys returned (although 50% is acceptable and more typical). The key is to make a plan that is convenient for people to respond to, simple to execute, and with a definite time frame for completion.
Using the Survey Results:
The survey results will help you identify areas of strength and weakness. Use the results as a way to facilitate discussion. Talk about both the positive and negative issues you identify from the survey results. The results can only provide information about how people are feeling or thinking about a certain issue. You will need to talk to the congregation, either one-on-one or as a group*, about why they are feeling or thinking that way and the kind of changes which may need to be made.
For questions in the survey that identify positive issues you might ask the following:
What makes this item such a strength?
Provide an example of what makes you think or feel so positive about this item?
What is the one element that is essential for keeping this item a strength for our congregation?
For questions in the survey that identify negative issues or sources of conflict you might ask the following:
Do the survey results accurately reflect how you feel about this issue? Why?
In what way would you change this item?
Is there something about this item that shouldn’t be changed?
Will changing this item affect other ministries of the church? How?
After you have discussed the survey results you may want to produce a brief report summarizing the main points. The report should serve to: A) provide information to those not present for the discussion, B) allow for clarification if something was misunderstood during the discussion, C) provide an outline for actions to be taken, D) communicate that the data gathered is being used and not ignored.
*“Group” may also refer to several different groups such as the church board, adult Sunday School class(es), the youth group, a ministry group, etc.. Talking to several different groups within the church about the survey results can be as good as trying to discuss the results with the entire church at once.