By Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com
Previously we discuss how to create and communicate your church reopening plan including 15 Questions Your Church Reopen Plan Should Address. The first question on that list is:
What questions and concerns do the people of your church have?
It’s important to understand that every church is different. The things that make each church unique include location, ministries, worship service elements, pre- and post-service activities, congregation size, building configuration, demographics and culture.
Because your church is unique, don’t simply copy another church’s reopen plan.
Additionally, while there are lots of resources for developing your church reopen plan available online, some of your best resources are right in front of you… the people who are a part of your church.
This is why I strongly recommend surveying your congregation.
Here are some suggested questions
12 Questions to Ask Members Before Your Church Reopens
- Since we stopped worshiping together in person, how many times have you participated in our online services?
- How would you rate your overall experience with our online services?
- Are you currently a part of a small group?
- Do you have an underlying health condition or are you over the age of 65?
- When would you personally start coming back to worship with us in person?
- When we start gathering again in person, would you most likely participate the week, wait a few weeks and then decide, or wait until all social distancing guidelines have been lifted?
- Would you want to wear a mask?
- Would you want everyone to be wearing a mask?
- If you have kids, will you put them in children’s ministry?
- Would you participate in a worship service if there was no nursery or children’s ministry?
- If you volunteer, are you planning to continue volunteering in the same role(s) when we reopen?
- Do you want us to serve coffee and snacks?
- What concerns and questions do you have about reopening? What issues would you like us to address so you feel more confident meeting in person again?
- What has worked well during the COVID-19 pandemic that you hope our church continues to do after we reopen?
- Is there anything else we could do as a church to help people stay connected to God and each other as we begin meeting together in person?
Here are 3 bonus questions to give added insight…
Here are some additional tips for when you survey your church:
- Use Google Forms. Google forms are a part of Google Drive. They’re free easy to use.
- Use multiple choice questions. When you use multiple choice questions, Google Forms automatically calculates the percentage of respondents who selected each option. This makes the data much easier to evaluate than dozens or hundreds of free response answers. The exceptions would be for questions like #13-15 above in which you want to hear people’s individual questions, concerns and ideas.
- Ask for email addresses. Ask people for their email address but make it optional. Let people know you appreciate it if they provide their email address so you can contact them if you have follow-up questions, but if they prefer to remain anonymous, that’s ok too.
- Email and text multiple times. Don’t expect everyone to respond immediately the first time you send the link to the survey.
By surveying the people who are a part of your church, not only will you get a better understanding their questions and concerns, but you are also giving people the opportunity to be heard, which is comforting and builds trust.
This article originally appeared on OurChurch.Com