Trinity has invested in the Engaged Church Survey every 2 years since 2008 because we believe it provides an objective look at our congregation’s spiritual health and a useful planning tool as we continue to grow in forming fully devoted followers of Jesus. Questions may be directed to Sue von Fange.
Engagement is different from involvement. Involvement is what you do at your church. Engagement is how you feel about your church. It’s about belonging and making a difference, and as a result, growing in Christ.
“A spiritually healthy church is the good soil that produces fruit in abundance – and engagement is the key.”
At Trinity, as we continue to Make Fully Devoted Followers of Jesus, we strive to Discover, Connect and Maximize the gifts and talents of our congregation, while building a foundation of engagement that enables spiritual growth and commitment.
In September 2008, over 500 Trinity members took the Gallup Member Engagement Survey , which measured the levels of member engagement and spiritual commitment. Simply put, engagement is about a heartfelt connection to one's congregation.
In September 2010, over 500 members took the Survey again, and our Gallup Consultant, Dr. Al Winseman, described the data results and jump in Engaged Members from 37% to 45% as flowing out of ways we help our members identify and serve according to what they do best. He helped us understand that engagement is a tool for growing fully devoted followers of Jesus and he also had a planning session with Trinity’s staff so that the engagement factors can be integrated throughout our ministries.
In September 2012, just under 500 members took the Member Engagement Survey. Our Gallup Consultant, Dr. Al Winseman, said our results reveal that Trinity is an engaged congregation and we do a lot really well. We are also spiritual healthy. While there appears to be only a small rise in member engagement (1%) since 2010, it is a stronger engagement, and that matters! This growing strength of member engagement is evidenced in greater spiritual commitment and in significant growth in the Outcomes of Engagement (life satisfaction, serving, giving, inviting someone to a church activity.) We have a much lower number of “1’s” (those who Strongly Disagree) on the survey than the norm. This indicates those who are ‘actively disengaged’ tend to be saying I don’t quite know what you expect me to do, rather than I don’t agree. Our key challenge is to Clarify and simplify Trinity’s mission vision and values so that I as a member can know what I’m doing makes a difference. Doing this, he said, would catapult Trinity to the next level of effectiveness in God’s mission.
The survey items about engagement identified in the book, Growing and Engaged Church, by Albert Winseman, are broken into four categories:
1. What do I get – spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically?
- As a member of my congregation, I know what is expected of me.
- In my congregation, my spiritual needs are met.
2. What do I give – what valuable contribution can I make?
- In my congregation, I regularly have opportunities to do what I do best.
- In the last month, I have received recognition or praise from someone in my church.
- The spiritual leaders in my congregation seem to care about me as a person.
- There is someone in my congregation who encourages my spiritual development.
3. Do I belong – how and where do I fit?
- As a member of my congregation, my opinions seem to count.
- The mission or purpose of my congregation makes me feel my participation is important.
- The other members of my congregation are committed to spiritual growth.
- Aside from family members, I have a best friend in my congregation.
4. How can we grow – how are we progressing spiritually?
- In the past six months, someone in my congregation has talked to me about the progress of my spiritual growth.
- In my congregation, I have opportunities to learn and grow.
How many of us truly feel that we understand our innate talents and gifts from God and know how to apply them effectively in our work, relationships, and callings as Christians?
Over 200 Trinity members and friends have taken the 7-week "Living Your Strengths Journey”. As a result, people have developed a deeper appreciation for themselves and others, have seen the connections of talents to fulfillment in their workplaces, and have discovered the ways in which they can most naturally grow in Jesus and serve him. Here are just a few testimonials.
Our awesome God is always fully engaged with us (see Psalm 139.) As we each more fully engage in what Trinity offers and our spiritual needs are met, we're positioned to receive God's grace and goodness in increasing ways. The natural overflow of God’s work in us is to give back, becoming an active part of engaging others in the good soil that is Trinity.
As Fully Devoted and Engaged Followers of Jesus, look for these amazing outcomes to happen in your life and in the lives of others:
• worship frequently and joyfully
• grow in Jesus through personal bible study, prayer time, small group study or Christ Care groups
• serve Jesus with their strengths, spiritual gifts, talents and abilities
• share Jesus by planting seeds of God's good news and
• share financial resources as an outpouring of God's blessings.