Building a trustworthy church
What do our actual experiences teach us about trustworthy churches? What can we dare to envision? This is a confidential survey. Data will be aggregated and summarized. Narrative details that may reveal identity will not be published without consent. ALL questions are optional.
If you have never been part of a church or other religious community, you're still very welcome to participate in this survey. You could begin with question 6.
1. Looking back on your experiences in congregations (if any), was there one community that was particularly trustworthy?
2. Was there one that was particularly UNtrustworthy?
3. Can you describe a personal experience that illustrates what a trustworthy congregation can be like?
Your answer
4. Can you describe a personal experience that illustrates untrustworthiness in a congregation?
Your answer
5. Have you ever experienced an untrustworthy congregation changing, becoming more trustworthy?
What were the actions or factors that led to this change?
Your answer
At the end of this survey, I'll ask for permission to quote you (and, if you give that permission, your contact information) for these kinds of experiences.
6. What qualities or features would be most important to include in any congregation you'd consider joining? (list as few or as many as you like -- whether or not they're included below in question 8)
Your answer
If possible, identify the single most important of those qualities or features.
Your answer
7. And what qualities or features of that congregation would you definitely want to AVOID in any potential new congregation? (list as few or as many as you like)
Your answer
If possible, identify the single most important quality or feature to avoid.
Your answer
8. Please place the following features or aspects of congregational life on a 1-to-10 scale, 1 being the most important for building a trustworthy church, and 10 -- irrelevant for that purpose.
a) Attractive or charismatic leadership
Comments?
Your answer
b) Leadership that reflects the social range and diversity of the membership
Comments?
Your answer
c) Membership that reflects the social range and diversity of the surrounding community
Comments?
Your answer
d) Leadership whose priority is to encourage others to learn and use their gifts
Comments?
Your answer
e) Mutual accountability between the leadership and the membership as a whole
Comments?
Your answer
f) The congregation is linked to a wider denomination, association, or network
Comments?
Your answer
g) A congregational culture that welcomes anyone who might visit
Comments?
Your answer
h) A congregational culture that allows a range of emotion -- sorrow, joy, calm, tears, humor, anger
(What additional examples of emotional range should have been included in this question?)
Your answer
Additional comments?
Your answer
i) A congregational culture that offers and expects healing
Comments?
Your answer
j) A clear and realistic path from new membership to participation in leadership
Comments?
Your answer
k) A commitment to basic biblical and doctrinal literacy
Comments?
Your answer
l) Education on spirituality and discipleship
Comments?
Your answer
m) Education on denominational distinctives and affiliations
Comments?
Your answer
n) Education and care for children and young people
Comments?
Your answer
o) Encouragement and training to share one's faith ...
. . . and to express the social and ethical aspects of discipleship
Comments?
Your answer
p) Financial transparency
Comments?
Your answer
q) Good physical facilities
Comments?
Your answer
r) Transparent disciplinary processes for those who violate trust -- leaders and members alike
Comments?
Your answer
s) Size of the congregation (1 = important, 10 = irrelevant)
If size or scale is important, which option best reflects your preference?
Comments?
Your answer
t) Here is a place (no. 1 of 2) to add a feature that should have been included in these rankings:
Your answer
How important is this feature?
u) Here is a place (no. 2 of 2) to add another feature that should have been included in these rankings:
Your answer
How important is this feature?
9. Which of your answers may I quote using your name? (I will not quote any story or incident you don't check below!) (Also see next option.)
Which of your answers may I quote WITHOUT using your name or other identifiable details? (I will not publish any story or incident, even vaguely, if you've not checked it below.)
May I contact you for an interview by phone or Skype or equivalent, or by correspondence?
How can I improve future versions of this survey?
Your answer
Contact information, for me to use in contacting you if you give permission to use your answers in questions 3, 4, and 5, or to request an interview. This information will not be shared with anyone or used for any other purpose. (E-mail, telephone number, or postal address, as you prefer.)
Your answer
You've reached the end! Thanks so much for participating. Finish by pressing the "SUBMIT" button below. Please let me know (johan@canyoubelieve.me) if you'd like a summary of what I've learned from this survey.
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