Surveying the community

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by BroChris, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. BroChris

    BroChris
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been the pastor of a small church in a small town for 2 months now. I've been thinking about surveying the community as a way of meeting them and finding out their perceived needs. What's your experience with this? Is it an effective way to connect with the community?

    If you would use this approach, what types of questions would you include on the survey?

    If you would not suggest this approach, what would you do instead?
     
  2. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    Please do not go out asking questions in the "guise" of survey, if you honestly want to survey then do so, but if you want to know the community just go out and meet them.

    If you were to knock on my door and ask what my perceived needs were uhhhh does slammed door mean anything to you? :laugh:

    Go meet them in the coffee shops, or door steps and get to know them, they will seek you out when they have needs you can meet.:thumbs:
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,273
    Likes Received:
    777
    Why do you need to know their perceived needs and what will you tell them you are going to do with that information.
     
    #3 Revmitchell, Sep 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2009
  4. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    small church, small town... I agree with exscentric. Go out and meet them. Knock on their doors, introduce yourself, talk to them, ask them if there is anything that you can pray for them about.
     
  5. BroChris

    BroChris
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I know where you're coming from. I actually started to do just that. I started with the house across the street from the church. But then, after meeting one family, I started thinking of all the information that I could obtain by doing a survey. I would not be using it is a guise. I would honestly want to find out what the community perceives its needs to be so that we might meet needs where we can. So we can pray for people.

    My personality is such that it's hard to go to a door without a reason such as a survey or a follow-up visit or even a friend of a friend. The survey is a way to meet people, but I would also (I think) greatly benefit from the results of the survey. But if you really think that it's better to just knock on doors and introduce myself, then maybe I need to just get over it and step out in faith.
     
  6. BroChris

    BroChris
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been talking with my wife about this a bit more, and we were thinking that an informal survey (asking certain questions without telling them we are taking a survey) might be the way to go. I would just want to find out how I can pray for them, what they think the greatest needs in the community are, and if they've had any experiences with the church of which I am now a pastor. My greatest goal would be to just get to know them a bit so that I might be able to minister to them.

    I'd record their responses afterward so that I can have a record of each visit. What else should I ask or say so that I can connect with them while getting vital information from them?
     
  7. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    You might print up some extra bulletins each week you plan to go out and give them a bulletin and tract if they will take it.

    That allows them to know a little bit about the church. A one page brochure with info about the church would be good as well. A trifold breaks the into up into small bites so they don't feel like they are reading a book :)

    Be very careful not to say anything about anybody because you don't know who is related to that nasty person you were about to complain about :tongue3:
     
  8. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're going to do a survey, do a formal survey. Have a badge from your church, have some type of identification. If not, don't do any kind of survey at all. Just a "Hi, I'm _______ from ________ Church. Just wanted to say hello and if I can be a help to you, let me know." Why? People don't want to be bothered at home anymore. And they're very suspicious of people asking questions. They assume you're (1) going to rob them or, worse, (2) going to try to sell them something :)

    If you go the informal route, get some leaders from your church or some deacons and have them list the homes of people they know. Take that person and have them introduce you. Then you get to talk to them. That validates you in their eyes.

    I like the blend into the community approach too. It's natural. It does take time. Have something at the church for the community. Free candy on Halloween. Do a fifth quarter. Buy some school supplies and give them away.

    But first....you've been there two months. I'd suggest before you talk to the community that you visit every single resident member of your church. Every one. That may take some time. You need to get to know your people. I've heard many men tell me that they knocked on a door and were told by the person at home that they'd never go to that *&^%$#$@ church because of so-and-so, and the pastor has no idea who they're talking about. Besides that, before you figure out the needs of your community, I humbly suggest you see what the needs of the church are. Maybe the two needs are common. Maybe they aren't. But you have to figure out the church you have before you try to make it the church you want.
     
  9. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh boy. That reminds me of a story....a seminary friend became pastor of a little church hundreds of miles from where he and his wife grew up. The pastor was out visiting, and in the course of conversation during one call, he mentioned the maiden name of his wife. "Is she kin to ABC?" asked the little old lady? No, the pastor declared laughingly...couldn't be the case. Well, the pastor went home and told his wife the story. She said "Wait...my great grandma was named ABC!" Turns out, ABC had lived in that community decades earlier and garnered quite the bad reputation. Right or wrong, it became a stumblingblock for the entirety of that pastor's ministry in that little village, even inside the church.

    Let the reader understand. Let those who have ears to hear.......:tongue3:
     
  10. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    That comment came out of a very close call many years ago when I was doing TV service. I was about to make some comments about another customer when she said, oh she is my daughter :smilewinkgrin:

    This was in a small town and as time went by I found most everyone was related to a dozen others so tight lipped I remained.
     
  11. BroChris

    BroChris
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wise words. Thanks. I've been trying to be very intentional in getting involved in the lives of the members of my church. I went to a birthday party yesterday and have been to several football and volleyball games. We've had several people over to our home, and have visited several in their homes as they've invited us. There are still a few that we have no connected with in any of these ways, so thank you for the reminder to do just that.
     
  12. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been here for 5 years. The previuos pastors tried the door knocking method to no avail. 1 problem here is that most homes around here are seasonal or cottages. Another is that this church typically has a pastor for about 1 year. It took about 18 months to be accepted by the community at large. Now I am known by most residents by name and face. Some call me their pastor yet have nt stepped foot in our church since I have been here. Some have begun attending since I have been here and sttate they are here because they see how much I care.

    I asay this because the other Baptist church in our township is successful with a door to door ministry where our church has not. Do what the Lord has gifted and leads you to do. Either way, do all for His glory and He will reward it.
     

Share This Page

Loading...