Earlier this year, we completed work on a course called Data Fueled Church. We’ll release the course later this year.

The big idea is that pastors should use data, information, and numbers in their decision-making process. The goal is not to be driven by those numbers, but simply to let facts inform our decisions.

We think that’s good stewardship.

During confusing times, when opinions are plenty and feelings are high, it’s really important to gather real information from your congregation.

A survey is a great way to do this.

Ask your people when they would feel safe to return, their attitude towards volunteering and family ministry, and what precautions they would want to see in place. Ask easy to answer questions and open-ended questions. Get the pulse of our people.

As you consider when and how to reopen, it’s smart to get real information from your people. Not anecdotal stories or one voice magnified by a factor of ten. You need to get real input.

It’s knowing the condition of your flocks. It’s being a good steward of the information available to you. To borrow from a story Jesus told, it’s considering the cost before starting construction.

Many of our Church Fuel members have been gathering data from congregational surveys and I wanted to share some of our favorites.

The Ridge Church

Long Hollow Baptist Church

Access Church

Your survey doesn’t have to be a long, complicated, or overly technical. In fact, you could just ask a few questions. Here are five questions I recommend you ask right now.

  • When is the soonest you would consider coming back to the church building?
  • What would you want to see happen before you would comfortably return to church?
  • If we opened next week, would you volunteer in your same spot?
  • If we opened next week, would you send your children to our children’s programming?
  • What do you miss most about church?

You can use tools like Typeform, Survey Monkey, or Google Forms to set up your survey.  You could take it to the next level and use a tool like Gloo to run periodic congregational check-ins. It’s a fantastic tool to help you get the pulse of your people with a free account and template.

Surveying your congregation is something you should consider as you wrestle through when and how to reopen the church.

For more about surveying your congregation plus practical advice and ideas to help you make a thoughtful, strategic decision and plan about reopening your church, download our free guide, The Senior Pastor’s Guide to Reopening.