12 Findings from Church Health Surveys

imgresToday’s guest post is from Chuck Lawless, Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern University. Dr. Lawless presents a fascinating study on church health and how churches perceive themselves in several areas (including a few of the key church systems we champion here at Church Leader Insights).

More than 15 years ago, Dr. Thom Rainer and I developed a Church Health Survey to assess the condition of local congregations. A 160-question survey that focuses on the six purposes of the church (worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, prayer, and fellowship), the questionnaire reveals a church’s perception of itself.

Over the years, hundreds of churches in North America have completed the survey as they work with my church consulting group. Here are some general conclusions these surveyed churches have told us about themselves.

  1. Even struggling churches view themselves as family. They enjoy being together, even when they differ strongly on matters like worship style. Apparently, the comfort of being with believers they know often trumps their disagreements.
  2. Many churches admit their unhealthiness. By far, churches that complete our survey perceive themselves as “marginally unhealthy” or “unhealthy.” To be fair, these churches contact us because they have already recognized their need for help (which, many other needy churches do not recognize), but our process is easier because of their own admission.
  3. Many members do not pray regularly for church staff. The survey is anonymous, so members seemingly feel free to admit this reality. Follow up conversations suggest members pray for staff when they first join the team and after that point, only when they ask for prayer.
  4. Discipleship and evangelism are the weakest areas in the church. I cannot recall the last survey that showed other areas as the weakest. Again and again, these churches admit they struggle in doing evangelism and discipleship – two non-negotiable components of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20).

Click here to read  the full article.

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P.S. – Healthy systems = healthy churches. Discover the eight systems of a healthy church and how you can begin to improve each of these systems in your church – absolutely FREE. Limited space available – reserve your spot today. Click here to register now for FREE!

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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