Research, Resources, and Results
|Congregational Life Survey
Resources for Congregations
|The U.S. Congregational Life Survey:
A National and International Study of Congregations
Two books are now available describing the national findings from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey based on responses from 300,000 worshipers in over 2,000 congregations across the country. These books will help you learn more about worshipers and congregations in the United States.
We've worked with researchers in four other countries in conducting this study. Books from their projects are also listed below.
Beyond the Ordinary: 10 Strengths of U.S. Congregations
This book is an intricate look at vitality and health in congregations. . . . The authors believe that there are ten strengths key to vital congregations. They conclude that every congregation has these strengths to one degree or another, and that by building on their strengths, they can transform their futures. This book will help congregations recognize the factors that make them unique, discover their strengths, identify areas where change is needed, and begin to determine where and when change can begin.
This book presents the first comprehensive portrait of congregational life in the United States . . . based on the results of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey of more than 2,000 congregations and over 300,000 worshipers from across many denominations. The Field Guide seeks to answer questions like, What are the characteristics of satisfying worship?EHow involved are worshipers in their communities?Eand How can congregations both recruit new members and retain existing members?EIt provides a portrait of congregational life today in four dimensions: spirituality and faith, activities in the congregation, community involvement, and worshipersEvision for the congregations future.
Essential reading for those who care about church life and mission. Released by the National Church Life Survey (NCLS) in Australia in August 2002, this book gives a unique perspective of the churches through the eyes of those who do not go. Why People Dont Go to Church reveals: (a) the importance of social influences on why people dont go, (b) the size of the cultural and religious gap between church attenders and those who do not go, (c) the reactions of people on the times when they do go to church, and (d) the great need for vital churches and new forms of church to better connect with people. Order now from NCLS ($25 A$ including GST plus shipping).
Initial Impressions 2001 is designed to share some preliminary national results from the 2001 Australian National Church
Life Survey, one of the most comprehensive databases on church life and mission anywhere in the world.
A range of important issues are explored including attendersEfaith and experience of worship, their patterns
of involvement and sense of belonging, the preparedness of attenders to share their faith with others,
willingness to invite others to church, involvement in community groups and the helping of others in
informal ways. Finally, consideration is given to leadership issues and the attitudes of attenders to the future
direction of their congregation or parish. Initial Impressions 2001 also contain breakdowns both by age group and denomination.
Order now from NCLS ($10 A$ including GST plus shipping).
Based on exclusive research into Australian churches and their leaders (that is also helpful to congregations in the U.S. and their leaders), Burnout in Church Leaders (2002) reveals: (a) who is at risk and why, (b) which congregations are dangerous, (c) leadership styles that help or hinder, and (d) how to pick your way through the burnout minefield and survive! Burnout in Church Leaders includes simple exercises to help you think through the issues as well as thoughtful and practical advice for managing job stress. It is essential reading for all ordained and lay church leaders--and those who care for them. Order now from NCLS ($23 A$ including GST plus shipping).
These are times of change and opportunity for Australian churches, and this book offers both challenges and
possibilities for the century ahead.
Build My Church takes a closer look at patterns of growth and decline in Anglican and Protestant
churches in Australia. Based on the findings from the 1996 church life survey and the 1998 Australian
Community Survey, it clearly outlines the challenges emerging for all denominations. Build My Church
takes us forward by suggesting 10 research based principles which leaders and attenders can focus on to
help them build a positive future.
Order now from NCLS ($20 A$ including GST plus shipping).
Those who attend are the basic resource on which the churches build their future. How ready are they for the new century? Taking Stock (1999) explores this by listening to the voices of the Catholic and Protestant attenders as they reflect on their experiences of church life. It also listens to church leaders, asking how well equipped they feel for the task ahead. Taking Stock is the companion volume to Build My Church. Order now from NCLS ($20 A$ including GST plus shipping).