Christian Reformed Church 2012 Survey Report to Synod Files available from www.calvin.edu/go/crcsurvey - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Christian Reformed Church 2012 Survey Report to Synod Files available from www.calvin.edu/go/crcsurvey

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  1. Christian Reformed Church2012 SurveyReport to SynodFiles available fromwww.calvin.edu/go/crcsurvey Neil Carlson, Director, CSRRodger Rice, Barnabas Foundation and CRHM June 10, 2013

  2. Gratitude • Participating churches and respondents (unnamed to protect the innocent). • Translators (named in report) • Survey advisory team (named in report). • Rev. Gary Bekker for his engagement with the project.

  3. Overview • Key purpose for this report: inform Synod and the wider church about the state and direction of the denomination’s churches and congregants • I. Survey history and methods • II. CRC Trends, 1987-2012 • III. Stewardship • IV. Church Life Cycle Stages • V. Perceptions of Congregational Health • VI. Respondents’ Comments • VII. Recommendations • Future Plans • Discussion

  4. Survey History and Methods

  5. 2012 Survey Methods • Online survey took 20-45 minutes • Fielded September 2012 to January 2013 • Congregation-based sampling strategy • Sampled 233 congregations(113 repeats from 2007, 120 new). • Churches recruited respondents, including non-members • Second survey wave in which we can analyze individual congregations • Spanish, Korean and Chinese language versions • Massive email and phone recruitment efforts by CSR student team

  6. Survey History

  7. Congregational reports • 21 congregations returning at least 30 responses received a detailed report. • First time CSR has included such rapid full reports, an offshoot of the Healthy Church reporting. • Effort led by Tom Sherwood ’11 and students Dan Molling ’13 and Melissa Lubbers ’14.

  8. CRC Trends, 1987-2012 Six surveys over 25 years

  9. Demographic Trends • Aging constituency • Declining households with children • Stable proportion of households with children and with children in Christian schools 2007-2012 • Stable proportion with college education 2007-2012 • Household income trends mixed but increasing overall

  10. Average age continues to increase Aging Population Figure 1 on Page 10

  11. Age Categories by Year Proportion over 60 now about 2 in 5 Figure 2 on Page 11

  12. Households with children stabilize From 47% with children in 1987 to stable 35% in 2007-2012 Figure 3 on Page 12 41/47=87% of households with kids had kids in Christian school 20/35= 57% of HH with kids had kids in Christian school

  13. College-educated proportion stabilizes Highest education level = college or post-graduate Figure 4 on Page 13

  14. Household income mixed 2011 dollars (US and Canadian) Figure 5 on Page 14

  15. Church-Related Trends • Recovering loyalty • to denomination • to local church • Declining evening worship attendance • Declining frequency of devotional activities

  16. Loyalty recovers in 2012 How would you describe your loyalty to… Figure 6 on Page 15

  17. Loyalty varies by generation How would you describe your loyalty to …[this congregation/ the CRCNA]? (2012) Figure 7 on Page 16

  18. Attendance falls AM and PM Figure 9 on Page 18

  19. Devotional practices decline How often do you… (% daily or more than daily) Figure 10 on Page 19

  20. Stewardship Focus on percent of incomegiven to congregation

  21. Percent giving to congregation Giving to church / total household income Figure 11onpage 21

  22. Percent giving by age Figure 12onpage 22

  23. Percent giving by income Figure 13onpage 23

  24. Percent giving by loyalty Figure 15onpage 25

  25. Percent giving by spiritual nourishment Figure 17onpage 27

  26. Percent giving bystewardship health Figure 19onpage 29

  27. CongregationalLife Cycle Stages Renewing mature and aging churches

  28. Church Life Cycle Stages • Analogy (but not full similarity) to human life cycles • George Bullard,Pursuing the Full Kingdom Potential of Your Congregation. • Infancy/childhood • Adolescence • Adulthood • Maturity • Empty nest/retirement • Old age/dying

  29. Distribution of respondents and churches Figure 22onpage 33

  30. Membership changeby life cycle stage Table 4onpage 33

  31. Figure 23on Page 34 Church health by life stage

  32. Healthy Church scales by life stage Figure 24on Page 35

  33. Figure 26on Page 37 Enthusiasm by life stage

  34. Figure 30on Page 41 A clear vision of God’s leadingby life stage

  35. Can these bones live? • Death is not inevitable; intervention can bring renewal • Leaders may be unaware of their church’s present life stage • Recasting vision is essential • Financial resources are still available even in decline • Some members of aging churches are still willing to make sacrifices

  36. Income and givingby life stage Figure 31onPage 42

  37. Commitment to missionby life stage Figure 32onPage 43

  38. Measuring and Explaining Congregational Health Indexes based on theHealthy Church Survey

  39. Focus on Healthy Congregations • Survey itself part of a message to congregations about denominational priorities • We included all items from the 2012 Healthy Church Survey (HCS) • 11 health areas • Evaluations of church and self • 22 items seen by all respondents • 4 of 22 sections shown randomly • 40-50 items total

  40. Figure 33onPage 44 Perceptions of overall current health improve over 2007

  41. Cen-tralityof the Bible items Figure 34onPage 45

  42. Figure 35onPage 46 HCS scale averages by age group

  43. Figure 36on Page 47 Church- and self-rating items

  44. Four churches that can learn together Figure 37on Page 48

  45. Explanatory factors for congregational health • Geography: US regions give higher ratings • Church size is entirely unrelated to HCS scores. • Apparent age effects disappear with other • Education is related, both higher and lower • Strong, increasing sense of belonginghealthier • Participation in decision-makinghealthier • Contemporary learning modesgo with much healthier churches; more below. • Devotional frequencyrelates to healthier churches. • Stewardship healthgoes with higher self-ratings and slightly lower church ratings.

  46. Contemporary learning modes • Causality is not certain, but seems to be a lever churches can pull • Modes in order of frequency (% rare/never): • Storytelling by pastor 19% • Missionary/service team report 19% • Children’s message 23% • Audiovisual (movie/slide show) 27% • Group discussion or deliberation 59% • Drama or dramatic reading 62% • Storytelling by others 63% • Personal testimonies 64% • Question and answer timew/preacher or presenter 73% • Plenty of room for growth

  47. Respondents’ comments

  48. Coding methodology • Comments were moved to a separate database • 100 comments from each section were reviewed to seek for major themes • Students coded all 779 comments • Each comment can include one or more themes

  49. Themes from final comments Figure 39onPage 51

  50. Themes from ministry/agency comments Figure 40onPage 52