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Congregation Assessment 2023

In 2023 Cathedral members were asked to complete a survey from Holy Cow Consulting to provide feedback on the direction of our ministry together. Having completed the same survey in 2019,  we’ve been able to develop an accurate “before” and “after” perspective now that Dean Gray has been with us for about three years and as we passed the midway point of our three-year strategic plan.

We are grateful for the congregation’s candid, thoughtful feedback as we continue to hold ourselves mutually accountable and maintain transparency in our ministry. Below is a summary of the results.

Executive Summary

The Congregation Assessment Tool was recently administered in your church. 427 persons were invited to participate; of these, 102 persons responded. A response from every member is not required to provide valid results. For a complete readout, please review the Vital Signs report that was sent to your church. A summary of that report is provided below.

Overall, approximately 79% of your members are clearly satisfied with things in the church. This, along with other information, indicates that the church has options which include growth, expansion, replication, and external impact. Whether any of these will be realized depends on the choices made.

Not every question is of equal importance to members. When asked how satisfied they are, members tend to focus on the issues addressed in the questions below. When they feel more positive in these areas, they tend to feel more positive overall.

  • In important decisions in our church, adequate opportunity for consideration of different approaches is usually provided.
  • Persons who serve as leaders in our church are representative of the membership.
  • The worship services at our church are exceptional in both quality and spiritual content.
  • A friendly atmosphere prevails among the members of our church.
  • Our Clergy helps us accomplish our mission by bringing out the best in everyone.

Conversely, when your members feel less positive about the areas above, they tend to feel less satisfied with their experience in the church overall.

Every church exhibits patterns in its life that contain strengths and potential weaknesses. Your church has potential strengths related to inclusiveness and advocacy. Potential weaknesses include a tendency to intellectualize every issue and difficulty in establishing identity and vision.

As members look to the future, their top four goals are:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.
  • Create more opportunities for people to form meaningful relationships (for example, small groups, nurtured friendships, shared meals, etc).
  • Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church.
  • Develop ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances.

In comparison to other churches, three goals that are unusually strong for your church are:

  • Adapt the opportunities provided by the church making them more accessible given the pace and schedule of my life. (i.e. online education, early morning classes, lunch discussions)
  • Expand outreach ministries that provide direct services to those living on the margins of society. (i.e. homeless, immigrant, transient persons)
  • Create more opportunities for people to form meaningful relationships (for example, small groups, nurtured friendships, shared meals, etc).

These may warrant attention from the leadership even if they are mid-level priorities.

All the information in this report should be explored and validated in further conversation. Survey data is not the end of a conversation but the beginning.