What You Receive

A major goal of this project is to provide congregations with a mirror to look at their own lives, priorities, and connections with the wider community. By using national or denominational benchmarks, results will help congregations recognize the factors that make them unique, discover their strengths, and identify areas where change is needed.

Providing Results to Participating Congregations

The reports provided to each participating congregation include:

  • The Connections Report: a basic profile of the congregation’s worshipers including who they are, their church background and beliefs, and what they value about their congregation. (See sample Connections Report)
  • The Strengths Report: a congregational vitality profile showing information about worshipers faith development activities, their involvement in community service activities, and the congregation’s efforts to attract and retain members. (See sample Strengths Report)
  • National benchmark comparisons: comparing your worshipers’ answers to those of all who participated in the survey.

The reports contain charts like this one. It shows the church background of this congregation’s worshipers (“your worshipers”) compared to the national average for “all worshipers.” As you can see, this congregation has more than the average number of newcomers who have been there for less than 5 years — they must be doing something right!

Sample chart in US Congregational Life Survey

The reports and accompanying materials contain lots of information to help congregations understand and use the information from their surveys. We believe that congregations need to move toward data-driven decisions, and survey results provide an excellent source of relevant data. The reports can be used with a group (perhaps your congregation’s governing board or a committee looking at the congregation’s future or its current mission and goals). They will also help you identify your congregation’s unique strengths.

Each report comes with a video and a leader guide. (Learn more about the Leader Guides.) These resources are intended to help a group or an individual look through the report, consider or discuss what they find, and use their new understanding of who their worshipers are to look at the congregation’s future.