Surveys are the best way to identify the interests of your congregation. With the right Bible study survey questions, you can learn to connect with your church members more personally.
Bible study survey questions also aid in the spiritual growth of members. They can help you alter your Bible studies to provide greater context of Bible passages to help them grow.
Individuals who lack skills in interpreting and understanding the Bible in its proper context often fall into two categories.
New believers may lack skills for gaining biblical literacy because they may not have had many opportunities to study the Bible or may have only studied it superficially. Or, they may not have received the training or study skills necessary to gain biblical literacy. Many churches have biblical literacy courses to help new believers develop such skills. These courses are widely known as Bible studies.
Pastors can gauge the areas their congregation lack in understanding in preparation for planning Bible study. But what is the best way to do this?
In this article, you'll learn how to incorporate Bible study survey questions into your church newsletters and the best questions to include.
Table of Contents
- Critical Benefits of Bible Study
- What Should Churches Do with Survey Questions and Answers
- Questions To Include In Your Survey
Critical Benefits of Bible Study
Bible studies are ideal for several reasons. First, they offer a safe and secure environment for people to study focus-driven Scripture. Second, they enable members to build relationships with one another and with leaders in the group. Third, it provides a space for serious Bible study, separate from small-group social gatherings.
The most successful group Bible study experiences always involve clear commitments - especially by leadership. Leaders should commit to praying before, during and after meetings and intentionally build an environment of trust, openness, respect and confidentiality.
Pastors best serve their congregation by planning bible study courses that church members can identify with on a personal level. The best way to know your congregation's direction is by implementing surveys into your church newsletter.
Surveys in Church Newsletters
Bible study surveys give members an opportunity to be involved in the church. This is not as useful in a printed publication, but in an online publication, responding to a survey is the next best thing to being able to comment directly to a Pastor.
Surveys can be a great way to gauge member engagement. Surveys can provide a church with information about members' interests, needs and concerns. They can show which Bible lesson and study themes members value the most and, in turn, which studies sessions members should attend.
Building a survey might also identify which book members are most likely to resonate with, helping a church identify what topics it should focus on. Bible study survey questions also serve as great outreach tools; members love to give their opinion on sermons and studies.
Practical reasons to include surveys in newsletters
Surveys provide church leaders with detailed demographic information about church members. They can show where church members are coming from, which groups make up their congregations, the ages of members, and the role of the church in their lives. Surveys also teach church leaders about church attendance.
By studying this information, you develop a better sense of who your congregation is and how to serve them. You can get to know your congregation better by tracking their attendance and participation at events and gaining feedback on which service times, Bible studies, and mission trips are most desirable.
What Should Churches Do with Bible Study Survey Questions and Answers?
Churches conduct many Bible studies. Some studies focus on specific topics, such as forgiveness in relationships, the sin of greed, or resisting temptation. Others have a more general focus.
Surveys are an easy way to get feedback about Bible studies. It is important to include Bible study survey questions that cover a variety of topics. As well as measuring the impact, gathering data about attendees is also valuable in planning the next course. This data can include participant characteristics and demographics, as well as attendance, engagement, feedback and satisfaction.
How to deliver a survey for an online church newsletter
Online church newsletters aren't just for pastors to give updates on recent sermons. Many churches use them to reach people who don't regularly attend their services. These newsletters can be a great way to share your church's mission, vision and values. Pastors and church leaders can also use them to share important news and reminders about Bible studies.
You'll need an online form to send a survey through this medium to gather data. You can use a free service like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
If you wish to send the survey individually, you will need to create a spreadsheet of email addresses and send the survey URL to these recipients. But often, churches include the link within the newsletter content. Once the form has been filled out, you can import the answers into your church member database.
Survey links aren't limited to just newsletters. It can be shared on social media and church website blogs as well.
How often should surveys be rotated?
Surveys represent another area of pain for churches. Many organizations are under-resourced for surveys, making it harder to get everyone to complete them, and surveys have a reputation for being dull or even annoying. So, when churches do include surveys, many hold off on including them until later in the quarterly or bimonthly newsletter.
But surveys are especially important after every Bible study course. Use them to review the course and make suggestions for improvement. Bible study survey questions can also be used as an evaluation tool, by which you can determine how effective your Bible study course is, and if any changes need to be made.
Survey analysis requires that we answer some important questions about our congregation and Bible study attendees. The most common questions on church leaders minds are:
- Who attends our meetings and Bible study?
- How many people participate?
- What topics or texts have particular appeal?
- What systems are in place to facilitate participation?
- What success have we had in engaging new members?
- What methods worked? What methods didn't work?
These Bible study survey questions and more can be answered in surveys. Survey analysis also gives us the data to better understand the benefits of meetings and Bible study and how we might make them more effective.
Questions To Include In Your Survey
Although some people may oppose the idea of asking members for demographic information, such as age and gender, this information can be very useful in helping your church meet its goals for engagement. The reports you receive can also help you discover the different kinds of members who are attending Bible study. For example, you might learn that some members are attending Bible study consistently while others only show up when they feel like it. Or you might learn that some members are regularly attending Bible Study, but aren't enjoying themselves. This is where you come in: you can take the opportunity to gently lead them in the right direction. If they aren't enjoying Bible study, maybe it's time you directed them to another venue where they can develop a deeper relationship with God. Or, explore topics that resonate with these members more. Including Bible study survey questions about attendance is a good way to pinpoint attendance issues. For example, you can ask people when they typically attend services, and you can get their feedback about the hours, days and times they find most convenient.
But for surveys to truly reap the full data-gathering benefit of their design, you must go beyond only asking for basic demographic information. Instead, you want to include questions that go deep into key questions about your congregation, your Bible study attendees, and your Bible study leaders. Questions like:
- What is the main reason you attend?
- What got you interested in Bible study and how did you hear about the Bible study?
- What is it about this study that drew you to it?
- How are you feeling about the study?
- What's a suggestion for future themes and lessons?
- What would the ideal length of our Bible study be?
- How many sessions should our Bible study course have?
- What would be the ideal time of day for the Bible study?
- On a scale of one to ten (with ten being the most interested), how would you feel about allowing members to attend Bible study sessions virtually when they can't make it in person?
- Does our Bible study have too much group discussion, too little or is it just about right?
- What changes would you like to be made to future Bible studies?
- What prevents you and other members of the congregation from attending Bible study?
- Within the last year, how often have you attended Bible study?
Another helpful question to ask in your church's survey is, "How do you prefer to learn?" Some members may prefer reading, others may prefer listening to sermons, and others may prefer watching online sermons or videos. This can help you tailor your teaching style to meet the needs of your church's members.
Tips for designing answers
You should provide appropriate ways for members to answer Bible study survey questions. This includes keeping answer options simple and easy to navigate. For example, church leaders should make it simple to rate an answer on a scale. And, allow members to provide comments. and respond to open-ended questions for more variety.
Many surveys involve multiple choice answers, and the respondent can select more than one answer. One way to do this is to give the respondent a list of possible answers and ask them to select one or more. Another option would be to use radio buttons, which let the respondent select only one option.
The text box is a special feature that lets members write lengthy answers. They can type their answers and also give feedback.