Denominational leaders endorse changes to Church Life Survey
The National Church Life Survey - which is sponsored by several mainstream church bodies including the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference - has announced that from next year, it will stagger its research over several months and boost the quality of its resources.
Insights - the electronic and print publication of the Uniting Church NSW Synod, reports that one year ahead of the 2006 Survey, many denominational leaders have had a visit from NCLS Research staff.
"We believe that NCLS 2006 will be the best ever. We wanted to invite denominational leaders into an ongoing conversation, so that their churches can make the most of the NCLS," said NCLS Director, Keith Castle.
National Church Life Surveys have been held every five years since 1991.
"It is gratifying to hear, that after 15 years, the levels of support from denominational leaders remain high, and has even increased," said Mr Castle.
The network of NCLS contacts reacted positively to the idea of a Survey Season, from June to November 2006. The decision to stagger the survey over a number of months is to ensure a fast return of results to congregations.
Denominational leaders also affirmed the shift of emphasis to producing high quality resources to help local churches to make the most of taking part in NCLS 2006.
These will include options for churches in different situations to reflect on where they find life in their midst and how this can be nurtured into the future. Particular interest was shown in the new resources on leadership that are being developed.
Some creative suggestions were made for consideration by the survey design team. For example, there was widespread interest in more data about how church attenders make an impact in their communities - the 'salt and yeast' factor.
"It is a rare opportunity to have access to upwards of half a million church attenders. We encourage organisations to explore the options with us," said Rod Smith, new NCLS Operations Manager.
NCLS Research seeks to continue the conversation. "We must do our best to hear and respond to the hopes and concerns of the churches we seek to serve," said Mr Castle.
Denominational leaders endorse changes to church life survey (Insights 23/8/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Research confirms mother's role in faith development (CathNews 2/5/05)
Research body to map new expressions of "church" (CathNews 29/3/05)
Bishops reaffirm support for National Church Life Survey (CathNews 28/2/05)
Survey body pinpoints link between mission activities and more newcomers (CathNews 1/11/04)
NCLS to probe 'I'm spiritual not religious' sentiment (CathNews 10/2/04)
Jesus Christ "better known as a profanity than a deity" (CathNews 10/11/03)
Important book on church attendance wins recognition (CathNews 15/10/03)
Adelaide Vicar-General says Church must seek opinion of faithful (CathNews 20/5/02)
Denominational Leaders respond to NCLS invitation to conversation (NCLS Research 23/8/05)
24 Aug 2005