My church has just taken part in the National Church Development (NCD) survey, and I have just been looking through the results, and if I'm honest it scares me.
The survey is set up so that all members of the church fill in a questionnaire answering a range of questions about how well you feel the church does in different aspects of church life, from reaching out to the community to praying for each other to how you feel within your small groups. The survey is completely anonymous, and you have to be completly honest when answering it. I hope others were as honest as I was. All the questionnaires get sorted and the results get totted up, and the results are given. I think it works on an average score so all the scores totaled then divided by the number of returned questionnaires.
Reading the results was interesting, it shows how people at your church feel, and what people think the church's strengths and weaknesses are. But its only an average. All the scores are shown on graphs and charts, this is what scares me. How can you represent a church in numbers and figures? Church isn't a business! Fair enough that it will help highlight areas of our church that need looking at and working with. But if we are helping one person with someting we do surely thats better than helping no-one at all?
Within such a small church averages won't work. If someone isn't happy with something or down scores something on the questionnaire will it make a difference within an average? I just hope that these results don't get to people or upset anyone, and don't get me wrong I'm not having a go at anyone for this, I just hate seeing a church in numbers and figures, would God really want to see this? Using time and effort to asses the churchs pros and cons rather than getting out there and doing his will, helping the needy, lets stop reviewing and nitpicking church, lets get out there and show the world Gods love.