What are people saying about the US CLS?

“I strongly encourage any congregation that is involved in leadership transition, long range planning or simply taking stock of its mission, to participate in the Congregational Life Survey.  Our mission study team, after much deliberation and with some doubts, decided to participate in the CLS.   We recently received the results and discovered a treasure trove of insight into the life of our church family.  Some of the insights confirmed things that we had sensed but could only hold as opinion.  Other results opened our eyes to important factors in our congregation’s health and strength to which we had not given much thought. As the facilitator of our mission study team my conclusion is that the CLS is the single most helpful thing we have done to complete our task.   As the results are being shared within our mission study team and with our elders a real sense of excitement is being felt.  There is no question that we are much better equipped to prepare for the future of our church family.  I would also add that the staff of Research Services have been more than helpful doing everything possible to accommodate the unique needs of our church.”

- David Bjerke, mission study team leader, Presbyterian Church of the Bigwood, Ketchum, Idaho

The following are comments taken from a satisfaction survey of congregations that used the US CLS in the last three years. The survey was fielded in August 2013.

“It carefully measured our strengths and the relationship of those to our community needs.”

“It gave us a good overview of our congregation and helped quantify areas of agreement/disagreement.”

“It gave us an objective snapshot of where and who the congregation is.”

“Getting the data is the best part. It’s extremely useful and the survey is much more thorough and professional than any mission study committee or pastor search committee could create.”

“It helped us focus on our future as a community.”

“It gave people the opportunity to both express themselves and hear what others in the congregation were expressing.”

“It encouraged us to think about where we were as a congregation.”

“It provides a base for ‘strategic’ planning and a benchmark for future measurement of progress.”

“It allows members to contribute to what is done here.”

“We compared our strengths and weaknesses per the survey with our strategic plan and also with a process our diocese uses to assess ourselves. This was the best part of the survey.”

“It helped us identify exactly what we were looking for in a new pastor.”

“It helped us see our strengths and weaknesses and plan ways to address them.”

“We obtained an objective, statistics-based evaluation of our congregation’s strengths and weaknesses, rather than just anecdotal opinions.”