Many of you will remember that last July, prior to me going on my sabbatical, we asked everyone to fill in a questionnaire to give their reflections on being part of Kerith. The aim was to give people a voice, hearing what people liked and didn't like about our community, and getting thoughts on what we could or should do differently. I spent some of my sabbatical going through the survey results, thinking about people's responses and reading every comment, all of which was both informative and generally encouraging!
Now I realise that some people don't think we should do things like questionnaires, that as leaders we should just listen to God and do what He tells us to do. That all sounds very spiritual, and it's certainly true that our only desire should be to do the will of God, but in reality God often speaks to us through people. Therefore as a pastor I want to know what people are thinking and feeling. Proverbs tells us to “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds” (Proverbs 27:23). To me a survey feels like a good way of hearing from lots of people, not just the people who would be in my social circle or who I'd naturally get to hear from, but from everyone in our community.
In total the survey was filled in by 345 people, which I'm sure most statisticians would say is pretty significant in a community the size of ours. Thank you to everyone who completed it. Heather Pocock has done some brilliant work in taking all the survey results and summarising them for us - you can find her summary here.
As part of her summary Heather identified ten 'elephants' - questions which people raised which I'll attempt to answer over the next couple of months via my blog.
Heather also went through all the comments people had made and identified ten big themes which came up again and again. You'll find these in the summary, along with some of the comments which were behind them.
On the 3rd and 10th January I'm going to do vision talks where I'll talk about 8 different things we're going to focus on in 2016. Interestingly for me the things we're going to focus on all relate to the ten themes identified in the survey, which is very encouraging!
I'd love to hear your reflections on the survey results.
ps I was encouraged that people's favourite way of finding out what is happening in church is my blog! In that case I'll keep writing it :)