Building a Senior Ministry Questionnaire

Posted by Vanco on Jan 5, 2022 12:10:27 PM

Senior Ministry Questionnaire Blog - Congregation in Praise

Did you know community engagement has a strong association with well-being and health in senior citizens? If you're seeking to serve the senior members of your church, it's essential to understand the needs of that community. 

Are you wondering how you can learn what the needs are of your senior community? Creating a senior ministry questionnaire is one way you can find out the needs of this community. 

If you want to learn how to create this questionnaire and what questions you should be asking, keep reading. 

Table of Contents

Why Should You Create a Senior Ministry Questionnaire? 

Do you treat everyone in your church the same? If your answer is yes, it shouldn't be. 

Different populations within your church, have different needs. To truly meet your congregation where they are, you need to understand what their needs and interests are. 

You also want to understand what your congregation needs to help them grow spiritually. You can do this by creating a senior ministry questionnaire. 

What Questions Should You Ask? 

When you're ready to create your senior ministry questionnaire, what questions should you ask? If you don't ask the right questions, you could miss important information. 

We have some suggestions on what questions to ask and how to administer your survey. 

Basic Demographics

Asking about basic demographics gives you a clear idea of who is in your church. You will want to ask about the following demographic information in the senior ministry questionnaire:

  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Marital status.
  • Employment status.

Asking these questions will give you the chance to learn just the basics. It will also help you decide on whether you need to break activities for older adults into more groups. 

For example, adults from their late 50s to early 70s are part of the baby boomer generation (1946 to 1964). These individuals might be retired; however, a significant portion could still be in the workforce. 

Members who are part of the silent generation or greatest generation will have much different needs than baby boomers. Older generations will likely be retired and might be living in assisted living settings. 

By gathering basic demographics, you'll be able to determine how needs vary based on the different generations. 

Social Life

What are the social needs of your older members? Do they regularly have someone visiting them? Or do they tend to be isolated? 

In your senior ministry questionnaire, ask about how often during the week they are visiting someone or having someone visit them. Ask about telephone calls and other activities that give them the ability to engage with others. 

For older generations, remaining connected to the community is important to mental health. Ensure members of your church are getting the level of connection they need?

First, you need to find out if that's a need, and how you can fill it. 

How Often Do They Attend Services?

Ask the older adults in your church how often they attend services. If you have multiple services, ask them which service they prefer to attend and why. 

If you have a more traditional service and a more contemporary service, this could let you know if they prefer one or another. In addition, there is an important follow-up question you should ask.

Follow-Up: Are You Experiencing Barriers to Attending Services?

For some older adults, as they age, they're not able to drive anymore. This could prevent them from being able to attend services. 

Even if they want to. Understanding the barriers can help you start exploring how to address the barriers. 

What Religious Services Do You Want?

Do you offer pastoral visitation? Or are you interested in offering a Bible study that's specifically geared towards older adults? 

Using your senior ministry questionnaire to ask members about these services  will accomplish two purposes. First, it will let you know if you should invest time in a service. 

If your members don't want to engage with it, it's a waste of your time and resources to invest in. Second, it lets your members know that the possibility is there. 

Some of the services you can ask about include:

  • Pastoral visitation.
  • Lay visitation.
  • Bible studies.
  • Bible study materials.
  • Devotional materials.
  • Communion.
  • Worship service tapes.

Ensure that you also leave a section where they can write in options. 

What About Church Worship?

Are you worried that the older generation is struggling with newer, more contemporary services? Asking church worship survey questions can help you get that insight. 

This might lead you towards making the decision to do a mixture of contemporary and traditional services. Or, as mentioned above, it might lead you towards having multiple services. 

An early service might be more traditional, while a later service would be more contemporary. 

Do You Need? Can You Provide?

Your senior ministry questionnaire is a great tool to understand the needs of your older members. Once you understand your seniors' needs, you can find ways to meet them.

However, you also want to give your older members an opportunity to give back. More than six out of ten adults over 55 are engaged in some type of volunteer opportunity. 

Volunteering can help with productive aging. Some of the things you'll want to ask about in this section of your senior ministry questionnaire include:

  • Transportation.
  • Home repairs.
  • Housekeeping.
  • Minor plumbing repairs.
  • Automotive repairs.
  • Legal counsel.
  • Tax prep.
  • Reading materials.
  • Bible study.
  • Meal delivery.
  • Fellowship.
  • Caregiver support.
  • Support groups.

These are just a few questions that you can ask. If your church has a service that can help your older generation or give them an opportunity to serve, ask. 

You can also give a short answer box so that they can let you know what they need, and how they might want to serve. 

What Do You Need for Your Spiritual Growth?

These questions will help you learn what the older adults in your congregation need to help them continue to grow spiritually. It will also give you an idea of whether your current services are meeting the needs of your older members. 

Under this section, you can ask many questions. For example, do church services leave you feeling spiritually fed? 

Or, do you feel engaged in the church? Asking these questions can open doors for many opportunities. 

How Should You Administer Your Church Survey Questions?

When you build your senior ministry questionnaire, where should you put it? The best way to get members to actually fill out your survey is by putting it on a church website or church app. You can create your survey utilizing free resources such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey. 

Church Website

Putting your survey on your website means that someone can pull out their phone or tablet and fill it out wherever they are. This makes it easier to get it filled out. 

It also helps because it means your administration doesn't need to spend a lot of extra time compiling data. Google Forms and Survey Monkey allows a program to compile the data for you. 

However, for members who aren't tech-savvy, a different solution is needed. 

Church Kiosk

Do you have a kiosk in your lobby? If so, is it staffed? 

Setting up a kiosk for members with tablets in your lobby can help members fill out their information there. The kiosk would take them directly to the website and then service, and if they're not tech-savvy, another church member can assist them. 

This ensures that all of the data you are collecting goes to the same place. It saves time for administration, and it saves you the headache of having to track data from multiple places. 

If you want to see an example of a church that used its website for church surveys for older adults, check out this church. 

Other Mediums

Getting the information you need from older members is critical. While you may have some older members who are savvy when it comes to tech, others might not be. Before sending your senior ministry questionnaire, determine the best medium for collecting the info. You could include your questionnaire in/on your...

Don't just limit yourself to one medium for the distribution of your senior ministry questionnaire. Chances are you'll need to rely on several collection methods to get the data you need.

Vanco

About the Author

Vanco

Vanco has helped churches through more than 20 years of holiday giving seasons by providing electronic giving solutions that have boosted donations for tens of thousands of churches. To see how your church can use eGiving to increase donations, give us a call at 855.213.3705 or contact us online to receive a demo.