Centre Street Church

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1 SPIRITUAL LIFE SURVEY REPORT Centre Street Church Report to Congregation Posted online January Willow Creek Association. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized distribution is prohibited. This is a summary report prepared for the entire congregation of Centre Street Church. It is based on the report presented at the AGM in November The notes below each slide will explain the contents of the slide, and provide a running commentary.

2 Understanding Your Report Spiritual Life Survey Approach Captures insights for church leaders on the spiritual health of their congregation and the role the church plays in their spiritual growth. Includes over 80 questions about an individual s spiritual attitudes, beliefs, needs and behaviors, and his/her engagement with church activities. Church findings are compared to a diverse sample of churches around North America churches of various sizes, denominations, locations, etc. Spiritual Life Survey Results Centre Street Church responses = 1,234 (21% of weekend attendance) This survey was created by Willow Creek Church about 8 years ago, in consultation with professionals in the corporate world. Since then the REVEAL Survey has been used in over 1,000 churches and has gathered information from over a quarter of a million church attendees in North America. The survey has been designed to gauge the spiritual health of a congregation and the role that the church plays in spiritual growth. Our Centre Street Church survey results have been compared to survey findings from various churches throughout North America. When we did the survey in February 2012, we had a response of over 20% of our weekend attendance, which gives us a strong representation of our church and its spiritual health.

3 Understanding Your Report Comparison with other churches shown by the arrows: One upward arrow means the response is at least 20%, but less than 50% greater than the total sample average. Two upward arrows total sample average. mean the response is at least 50% greater than the One downward arrow means the response is at least 20%, but less than 50% lower than the total sample average. Two downward arrows total sample average. mean the response is at least 50% lower than the A dotted line response ---- means the response is close to the total sample s response (within 19% either greater or lower than the total sample). As we go through the survey, you will notice that some of the numbers have arrows beside them. If there is not an arrow, then that number is similar to the average response of other North American churches who have taken the survey it is between 19% above average and 19% below average. If there is one or two arrows, then the comparison with other churches is explained in the slide. Note: This comparison with other churches is not the most important aspect of the survey, nor do we want to play the comparison game all the time. However, it does sometimes provide very helpful information regarding what our strengths and weaknesses are as a church, as well as the spiritual health of the church in North America.

4 Centre Street Church s Tenure Church Tenure Base Size 1,234 Less than one year 7% One to five years 35% Six to ten years 24% More than ten years 34% This slide shows how long people have been attending CSC. While it might seem surprising that only 7% have been attending less than one year, it s also true that 42% of our people have been attending less than five years. We actually have a fairly good mix of both new and long-term attendees.

5 Centre Street Church s Spiritual Growth Framework -Centered Exploring I believe in God, but I am not sure about. My faith is not a significant part of my life. 6% Growing in I believe in Jesus and am working on what it means to get to know him. 30% Compared with Total Sample Close to I feel really close to and depend on him daily for guidance. 28% --- Compared with Total Sample My relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship in my life It guides everything I do. 36% Compared with Total Sample Segment Base Size Exploring 73 Compared with Total Sample Growing in 376 Close to 350 -Centered 435 Everyone who took the survey identified themselves as belonging to one of these four categories the titles and the explanations below each title explain what the categories are. Notice that we have quite a few people identifying themselves as quite mature in their ian faith. In fact, two-thirds of our people say they are either close to or -centred. This is above average for a North American church. These four categories are used throughout the survey, as the next slide shows.

6 Centre Street Church s Participation with Organized Church Activities Participation Base Size Weekend Services (3 to 4 times per month) Total Exploring Growing in Close to - Centered 1, % 69% 86% 89% 89% Small Groups (1 to 2 times a month or more) 57% 36% 52% 62% 61% Serving at the Church (1 to 2 times a month or more) 51% 30% 45% 58% 54% Serving Those in Need Through my Church (1 to 2 times a month or more) 19% 11% 14% 19% 25% This slide shows the big picture of our people s church involvement. You ll notice that the second column from the left is a Total column. It shows us that many people attend weekend services regularly, and over half say they participate in a small group and serve at the church. There are four columns to the right of that Total column. These four columns give a breakdown regarding how each of the spiritual growth groups of people responded. For example, 87% of all people at CSC attend weekend services regularly, but only 69% of those who identify themselves as Exploring in attend regularly. Another example is that 57% of people at CSC attend a small group once or twice a month (or more), but only 36% of those in the Exploring group do so. However, that 36% is more than most Exploring people in other North American churches.

7 Spiritual Vitality Index This index provides a measurement of the spiritual well-being of the congregation in three major categories: 1. Personal Spiritual Practices spiritual disciplines that advance spiritual maturity and intimacy with God, eg. Scripture meditation, prayer, etc. 2. Faith in Action spiritual behaviors (eg. evangelism and serving) and attitudes of surrender to. 3. Church s Role how effective people feel the church is in helping them grow spiritually. This slide shows the three key areas the survey measured. The remaining survey results will look at these three areas.

8 REVEAL Spiritual Vitality Index for Centre Street Church What Your Score Means Compared with Total Sample --- Personal Spiritual Practices (Ranking compared to REVEAL database) 86+ = Top 5% = Top 10% = Top 25% = Upper 50% <70 = Lower 50% 78 Compared with Total Sample Church s Role Faith in Action --- Compared with Total Sample This slide shows our score as a church in each of the three key areas. You will notice that we fall into the average score of a North American church in terms of our Personal Spiritual Practices and putting our Faith in Action (there are two dashes in the boxes beside those titles), but we are above average in terms of the Church s Role in helping people grow spiritually (there is one up arrow in the box). Our score of 78 is in the top 25% of North American churches in terms of our spiritual vitality or spiritual health this is slightly above average. Remember these are broad survey results, so there will be lots of individuals in our church who do not fit into this picture, but it does reflect accurately on the overall spiritual health of our people.

9 Centre Street Church s Spiritual Beliefs and Attitudes Key Spiritual Beliefs And Attitudes (top box) Total Exploring Growing in Close to - Centered Base Size 1, Salvation by Grace 76% 27% 68% 79% 89% Trinity 91% 52% 87% 96% 98% Personal God 67% 29% 49% 71% 86% is First 67% 29% 48% 71% 87% Authority of the Bible 63% 14% 52% 65% 80% Identity in 65% 19% 45% 66% 87% Stewardship 50% 29% 39% 45% 68% Giving Away My Life 28% 12% 14% 23% 47% Now we will look at Personal Spiritual Practices (which includes biblical beliefs, attitudes and actions). When it comes to biblical beliefs, many of our people have strong biblical and theological beliefs, especially the Close to and -Centred people. This is certainly something to celebrate, especially in a culture where absolute truth is usually rejected and the authority and role of Scripture has been greatly diminished (even in many churches). However, notice the bottom two rows: Stewardship and Giving Away My Life. Although our seekers and new ians are stronger than average in these areas, our Close to and -Centred people are similar to other North Americans and score quite low. The phrase giving away my life as used in this survey means that I am willing to risk everything that is important in my life for Jesus. Here s the big question how come only ½ of those who say they are -Centred and only ¼ of those who say they are Close to also say that they are willing to give their lives away for Jesus? Do we really understand what it means to be -centred, and to be stewards of what God has given to us our time, talents and treasure?

10 Centre Street Church s Personal Spiritual Practices Personal Spiritual Practices Total Exploring Growing in Close to - Centered Base Size 1, Reflection on Scripture (daily) Bible Reading (daily) Prayer to Seek Guidance (daily) Prayer to Confess Sins (daily) Solitude (several times per week or more) 32% 3% 16% 35% 47% 38% 11% 24% 41% 52% 57% 16% 41% 63% 74% 34% 18% 23% 33% 49% 57% 26% 41% 61% 73% Tithing (10% or more) 43% 14% 35% 45% 53% This slide shows people s personal spiritual practices. Notice that the top two rows related to reading and reflecting on Scripture are almost all above average compared to other churches. This underscores the fact that CSC is a strong, Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church, and we celebrate that strength! We also celebrate the fact that our Exploring group (seekers and new ians) is quite high compared to other churches in most of their spiritual practices. Again, we are so grateful that new ians are growing in their relationship with Jesus in many ways and not just attending church! However, notice that only half of the people who described themselves as -Centred (far right column) are reading/reflecting on Scripture on a daily basis or tithing regularly (defined by the survey as 10% or more). While there are likely good reasons why not all -Centred people are doing these things, it seems striking that only half of our most mature ians are engaged in these basic practices!

11 Faith in Action Spiritual Activities with Others The most significant indicators of outreach to others include: evangelism (defined as meaningful spiritual conversations with non-ians ) serving those in need on my own Moving on to the Faith in Action area, this assesses ways in which people are engaging in spiritual activities with others such as having spiritual conversations with non-ians and serving people in need on their own (ie. not through a church program).

12 Centre Street Church s Participation in Key Spiritual Activities With Others Spiritual Activities with Others Total Exploring Growing in Close to - Centered Base Size 1, Spiritual Friendships (once or more per month) Evangelism (6+ conversations per year) Serving those in need on my own (once or more per month) Spiritual Mentors (once or more per month) 58% 34% 46% 63% 67% 25% 12% 19% 25% 32% 42% 29% 35% 44% 48% 31% 22% 24% 33% 36% This is a snapshot of how we are engaging in key spiritual activities with others. Notice again that our Exploring group at CSC is very active compared to most North American churches which is a wonderful strength in our church. Notice also, though, that the Evangelism row (second row) shows that the more spiritually mature a person becomes, the more likely it is that they will have spiritual conversations with non-ians and this is typical in most churches. This breaks the stereotype that it is brand new ians who are the most active in sharing their faith. While some new ians definitely DO share their faith extensively, it s actually the more mature ians who are strongest at engaging in spiritual conversations with people.

13 How Your People Encourage Spiritual Growth with Non-ians Most Frequent Evangelism Activities (at least monthly) Total Exploring Growing in Close to - Centered Base Size 1, Talk about praying for them 64% 38% 58% 67% 71% Talk about spiritual issues 63% 48% 58% 67% 67% Display ian symbols 53% 47% 54% 52% 55% Try to learn about their spiritual life 48% 33% 39% 52% 56% Share my story of faith 38% 23% 31% 41% 43% Invite to church events 31% 25% 28% 30% 34% Challenge to take next step 29% 16% 22% 27% 38% Invite them to gatherings 28% 25% 24% 30% 30% Give ian books, music 24% 14% 21% 24% 28% Invite to support program 11% 15% 11% 10% 12% The same is true when it comes to encouraging spiritual growth among non-ians as people grow in spiritual maturity they tend to become more active in encouraging non-ians to engage in spiritual practices or activities as well. At CSC, our Exploring group is stronger than average in this area and our spiritually mature people are a bit weaker than average.

14 Church s Role Top Five Priorities of the Church Priority Scores The Priority Score calculation combines importance and satisfaction. Red Light Scores: A score over 6.0 is an urgent issue people are very concerned about it. Yellow Light Scores: A score between is a cautionary issue there is some concern. Green Light Scores: A score under 4.0 is not a high priority issue there is limited concern. The last key area measured was the church s role in helping people at CSC grow spiritually. This slide shows us how to interpret the next slide. Notice that anything below a score of 4.0 means that area is not a high priority issue.

15 What Your People Say are the Top Five Priorities for Centre Street Church Priority Ranking Top Five Church Priorities (Based on Level of Importance and Satisfaction) Importance Score (Scale: 6 is high; 1 is low) Satisfaction Score (Scale: 6 is high; 1 is low) Priority Score* 1 Helps me in my time of emotional need Helps me develop prayer life Helps me feel like I belong Help develop personal relationship with Helps me understand the Bible in depth Highest Priority * Priority Score: This score merges importance and satisfaction together to rank order your congregation s view of the church s highest priorities for action. The higher the score, the greater the sense of urgency for change. (Priority Score Calculation: (Importance less Satisfaction) X Importance) Based on your church sample size of 1,234 NOTE: No database comparison available at this time You can see in the far right column that the priority score for all areas is well below 4.0, which means this survey is not pointing out any areas of major concern in regards to the church s role in people s spiritual growth. Of course, we should still pay attention to these top five areas. Note the top three areas of concern are mostly emotional/relational in nature. Perhaps this is not surprising considering the challenges of a big city and a large church setting.

16 Overlap Between Stalled and Dissatisfied for Centre Street Church Satisfied Dissatisfied Stalled Not Stalled 80% 9% 6% 5% Your Church's Stalled = 11% --- Compared with Total Sample Your Church's Dissatisfied = 14% Compared with Total Sample This slide shows us what percentage of our people are satisfied or dissatisfied with the church s role, and what percentage are stalled or not stalled in their spiritual growth. It shows us that 80% of our people are satisfied and not stalled, 9% are dissatisfied but not stalled, 6% are stalled spiritually but still satisfied with the church s role, and only 5% are both spiritually stalled and dissatisfied with the church s role. Our stalled rate is typical for most North American churches, and our dissatisfied rate is lower than normal.

17 Top Five Reasons Why People Have Stalled Spiritually at Your Church Lack of discipline in spiritual practices Letting other activities take precedence Lack of accountability / encouragement Lack of meaningful church community Emotional issues 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Based on your church sample size of 682 Why are people stalled spiritually? Here s the top reasons given by people who said they were stalled. Notice that the strongest percentage by far believed that their lack of engagement in spiritual disciplines and practices led to their being stalled spiritually. Notice that the third and fourth bar have a lot to do with lack of relationship accountability/ encouragement and being in community. What helps people get unstalled? The next slide shows us what people said.

18 Top Five Ways Your People Became Un-Stalled Connected with God through prayer, solitude and/or Scripture Came to grips with situation on my own Shared struggles with spiritual friend/mentor Had spiritually moving experience Attended small group/life group/cell group 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Based on your church sample size of 550 The single most important activity that has helped our stalled people become un-stalled and growing again spiritually is connecting with God through the spiritual disciplines and practices such as prayer, solitude, time in God s Word, etc. Notice that the third and fifth bar have to do with relationship again sharing with a spiritual friend and being part of a small group.

19 REVEAL Summary Observations Key Insights from all REVEAL Surveys across North America 1. The most active evangelists, volunteers and donors come from the most spiritually advanced groups: the Close to and -Centered people. 2. Personal bible study/reflection is the most powerful catalyst of spiritual growth. True for all four categories, from Exploring to -Centered. 3. There is great variability in the spiritual growth effectiveness of churches. The size of a church is not directly connected to its spiritual growth effectiveness. That is, a small church with limited resources can be as powerful a force in the spiritual development of its people as a large church with significant resources. This slide summarizes what Willow Creek has learned from the over 1,000 churches that have taken this survey so far. These are three of the biggest learning points they discovered.

20 This represents what Willow Creek learned from the churches whose spiritual health scores were in the top 10% of all churches surveyed (CSC was in the top 25%). So we can learn a lot from this in terms of what churches have found to be the most helpful in terms of initiating spiritual growth and health among their people: - Embed the Bible - Create a sense of ownership among the people - Pastor the community that is, serving the community but also providing spiritual guidance and support to people within the community - Get people moving helping people take the next step from whatever stage they are at into the next stage of their spiritual growth (eg. from Close to to -Centred)

21 REVEAL Survey Discussion Group Conclusions Our Top Four Spiritual Growth Priorities should be: 1. Give My Life Away (sacrificial service) Defining this to people as: Loving others as God has loved us All serving inside and/or outside the church Humility: being willing to do whatever God asks of us Hospitality: being open to meeting other s needs (aware) Doing this out of our intimacy with God Telling stories of this within the congregation These last few slides represent the high-level results from our leadership discussion group that went through the Reveal survey results last spring and summer and presented their findings to Pastor Henry and the Board this fall. This group met three times, and was made up of a wide variety of people various ages, men and women, Board/staff/lay people, etc. Our conclusion was that CSC should focus on the following Top Four Spiritual Growth Priorities first, focusing on what it means to Give My Life Away. We need to paint a much clearer and compelling picture of what it actually means to be -centred and challenge and resource our people to wait in God s presence (pursue intimacy with ), look for opportunities to give our life away for, and then actively respond to God s leading to do so.

22 2. Engage More in Prayer/Spiritual Disciplines (intimacy) Some ideas for how to do this: Help staff and leaders grow in understanding and practice of prayer/spiritual disciplines Share stories of people s experience of prayer/spiritual disciplines Encourage conversations about spiritual practices - What spiritual disciplines are helping you grow and reach out more? Raise awareness of prayer opportunities Use prayer/spiritual disciplines in life coaching of non-ians - offer this to people in the community, to help them connect with God Second, we feel our people need strong encouragement and support in terms of engaging in prayer and other spiritual disciplines / practices. Remember, this is the single most important reason why people become stalled spiritually, and how they get un-stalled and moving again.

23 3. Have More Spiritual Conversations (build relationships with non-ians and take risks) Some ideas for how to do this: Share stories of new life create interest/desire in our people Develop an externally focused aspect within every ministry Lead our people to where the needs are Encourage people to volunteer for their local community association ( in the community and for the community ) Third, we need to grow as a congregation in having more spiritual conversations with non-ians. Many of us need to become more involved in the lives of non-ians at work, at school, in our neighbourhoods and then prayerfully look and long for opportunities to speak into people s lives and bless them. As we do so, God will give us many opportunities to share His love and the reason for the hope that is within us, and individuals and communities will be changed for the better both now and in eternity.

24 4. Move into Active Engagement and Ownership Foster ownership within our people by: - creating a clear church identity we are the church is in our DNA; we are united and strong regarding our vision and values - providing one entry point for all new people, then guiding people into various spiritual growth streams as appropriate Educate and unite the leaders/staff within the church concerning our connection and engagement process And fourthly, we need to be more intentional about moving people into active engagement (taking responsibility for their own spiritual lives and growth) and into taking ownership of the church (that CSC is not dependant on organizational leaders but rather that We, the people of CSC, are the church ). We have a strong process and numerous resources for new ians. Now we need to create a clear and compelling process for the spiritual growth of all people at CSC for everyone from newcomers to long-term members and help each person identify and follow a spiritual growth plan that will help them obey God s leading and move into the next stage in their journey of following.

25 REVEAL Survey: Next Steps Application to specific ministry settings, implementation, and evaluation - Staff pastors/leaders apply learnings from CSC s survey results to their ministry areas, and also from how REVEAL s top churches are fostering spiritual growth - Board of Governors ongoing engagement with Survey results and staff implementation through the Ministry Health Committee - Individuals / family / small group pursuing God and His leading in our lives and obeying His call fully! What do we do next in response to this REVEAL Survey? We need to apply what we ve learned to specific ministry settings (age-specific ministries, regional sites, etc.). We need ongoing monitoring of how these learnings are being implemented, likely by the Ministry Health Committee of the Board in consultation with key staff leaders. We need to wrestle with what God is saying to us from all of this what is He saying personally to you? To your family? Your small group? As each person takes responsibility for their own spiritual lives, and as we do that for our families, God will lead us into an experience of our Five Pursuits that will change our lives for real. Let s pursue Him and His call on our lives with all we have! May we continue to listen for God s leading in all of this, and obey whatever He calls us to, so that we become more like and reflect His grace and truth to a world that so desperately needs Him.

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