By Larry Short
A group of Elim ministry leaders has been meeting, facilitated by Cindy Waple, with the goal of creating strategic ministry plans for Elim for the next 1, 3, and 5 years. In order to create these plans, we need to conduct a “SWOT” (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of Elim and its programs. In order to conduct this SWOT Analysis, starting tomorrow (February 6) we will begin a two-phase survey of our friends and members, designed to help us gauge Elim’s current health and ministry effectiveness.
The first phase is a survey instrument called “Reveal,” which has been used recently by thousands of churches to help evaluate their spiritual health and ministry functions. Phase 2, which will launch a few weeks after phase 1 is completed, will be a customized survey instrument (“SurveyMonkey”) which we are designing to fill gaps for specific information not covered in the Reveal survey, helping us to understand needs and opportunities more relevant to our specific programs.
Believe me when I say we understand that everyone is very busy, and I know how challenging it is to take time out of the day to complete an online survey! But your participation in this process will be incredibly valuable to this planning team as we seek to prayerfully prioritize our ministry efforts and resources. We need a minimum of 60% of our friends and members to complete both instruments in order for them to be statistically valid and provide useful information … but we would like everyone to help us by completing both phases. Therefore we ask you to please set aside the time required to complete both surveys, the first one (Reveal), within the next two weeks; and the second (SurveyMonkey) a few weeks later.
If we have your email address, you will receive a link by email to each survey. (If we do not have your e-mail address, it is very important that you email it to our church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Note that we are asking all members of your household who attend Elim and are 18 years of age, or older, to each take this survey on their own.
If you do not have email or internet access, we still encourage you to complete the survey. We will have computers set up at church on February 7, 14, and 21, during both services, for you to take the survey. You can either take the survey during first service and attend second, or you can take the survey during second service and attend first. Our desire is to have all people who call Elim their church home take this survey. If these times don’t work for you please call the church office and we will set up a time that does work. (Phase 1 of this survey will take roughly 25-35 minutes to complete.)
Let me close with a word about why we are doing this. In last week’s The Last Word, Pastor Martin wrote describing the job responsibilities of elders. One of those key responsibilities is “guarding the vision,” which requires us as leaders to discern what God’s vision is for the Body of believers here at Elim, and to assess accurately where we are at in achieving that vision. As elders we take this responsibility very seriously, and eagerly look forward to receiving the information that will be provided by this two-phase survey, which will help us as we seek to be responsive to your needs and to the Lord’s calling on this Body.
Also, please be praying for us (the staff and elders, and the strategic planning team) and for our Body as we go through this process, that God would use it to help us discern accurately what He is doing and desires to do in our midst.