calendar January 18, 2023 in Congregations, Vitality

New Congregational Vitality Survey


Is your congregation ready to take a step in the vitality direction but not sure where to start? Well here is the place to start. A new tool has come out from the ELCA called the Congregational Vitality Survey! This FREE Resource is available to all congregation and is simple to implement across congregations of all sizes and contexts.

The Congregational Vitality Survey is a tool to help congregations assess where they see themselves as a congregation. It uses 36 unique questions to gain insights into how both congregation members and leaders view various aspects of the congregation’s ministries. Participants take the survey online (or in paper format) using an online link to a Google Forms survey. Leadership and Congregation members take the survey separately so that the we can see if there is unity between leadership and congregation or if there is a disparity between the two. All input is anonymous and people can share their opinions openly and freely on the survey.

They survey is helpful because it gives a good picture on what people “think” is happening. The survey results can be held up against actual facts to see if there are some “ministry myths” preventing us from moving ministry forward. For example, our members feel like we have enough resources for ministry, but the budget is reflecting a decrease in congregational giving. It might be a helpful tool in helping to discover that people may have a misconception about the realities currently facing the congregation.

The survey is usually left open for a few weeks while we encourage as many folks in the congregation to take the survey as possible. A good response rate would be at least half of your average worship attendance. While that seems to be a low number, it will at least capture enough of the prevailing opinions in the congregation to be effective. One we decide to close the survey, the DEM’s will start to generate the report and look to find a time to share the results with the congregation.

While the survey isn’t a “one size fix all” it is a helpful tool in beginning the conversation around congregational vitality. It helps leaders gain insight into what people think is happening. Processing the results is not about simply receiving them, but taking the time to discuss them, prayerfully digging deeper into some areas that seem to rise to the top, and making plans for action steps to move the ministry forward in ways that advance God’s desires for the ministry. It is a tool to begin a conversation and new ways of working together to strengthen the whole church and participate in the mission of God to love and bless the world.

If this tool sounds like it might be helpful to your congregation – please reach out to our Synod’s Directors of Evangelical Mission – The Rev. Bryan Penman () or The Rev. Dr. Moses Suah-Dennis ().

Blessings on this new year as we take a bold steps toward renewing our ministries for 2023.