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Surveying the lives of churches

Rural Chaplain Julie Greig. Photo courtesy of Insights

ONCE AGAIN Uniting Churches all over the country are getting ready for the 2011 National Church Life Survey – for which
each denomination will be allocated a survey month from September to November.

The National Church Life Survey (NCLS) is a tool that provides churches with evidence based insight to equip them for
ministry and mission.

It has helped participating churches access information about themselves and their communities for over 20 years.

NCLS research and resources help churches assess qualities of vital church life, including faith, worship, belonging, vision, leadership, innovation, service, faith-sharing and inclusion.

The Church Life Pack helps build church vitality and nurture growth in faith, vision and outreach.

Uniting Church Rural Chaplain Julie Greig said, “To have all the information in one place, categorised and graphed, and not spend hours digging it out from ABS data is a huge benefit.”

In 2011 NCLS will have optional extras, including one that allows local churches to find out more about the spiritual beliefs, needs and hopes of people who don’t regularly attend.

National Census data and the NCLS surveys are used to profile a local community, its people and social changes.

The Community Connections Pack helps churches connect with their local area.

Gary Koo, a minister at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Carlingford, Sydney, said NCLS data helped staff determine what type of ministries and church plants to develop.

They could see the percentage of people in a certain ethnic group, age groups, languages spoken, socio-economic status and how a local area had changed over time.

The 2011 survey will have the most practical and grounded focus on community yet, with online surveys for young people
and local church contacts such as people at playgroups.

This project seeks to gain insight and understanding into the changing face of church and spirituality; to equip churches
to connect better with their communities; and to invite the wider community to reflect upon its spirituality and the church’s
place within it.

For more information click here

Photo : Rural Chaplain Julie Greig. Photo courtesy of Insights