Congregational Assessment Tool Summary

Congratulations West Side, your participation in the Holy Cow! Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) was off the charts! Our stated goal was to reach a response rate of at least 80% of average worship attendance. In the end more than 279 of you participated. This means the data collected is solidly reliable.

The CAT survey finds that what contributes to a church’s overall satisfaction and energy is:

  • Inspiring and engaging worship.
  • Flexibility (able to change to meet the needs of the congregation).
  • Conviction that church has given new meaning to life.
  • Inviting, friendly body of people with good relational skills.
  • Open, responsive decision making process.
  • Opportunities for service in the church and the world that fit a person’s gifts and passions.

West Side’s Energy-Satisfaction Map demonstrates low-energy and low-satisfaction. This means we have work ahead of us to regain a significant level of vitality and health.  In June the Church Mission Study team will begin to explore these findings in a more in depth way.  The Mission Study will articulate some steps to take toward the desired transformation. While we do not know yet know exactly what that will look like, the CAT provides us with helpful insights and benchmarks to understand our context.

The CAT survey reveals that among frequent attenders at West Side (once a month of more) the top priorities are, in order of priority:

  • To develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.
  • To make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church.
  • To deepen our sense of connection with God and one another through stronger worship services.
  • To provide more opportunities for Christian education and spiritual formation at every age and stage of life.
  • To develop ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances.
  • To work to renew and revitalize the community around the church by building coalitions with partners that share this vision and commitment.

Additionally, the CAT revealed some unique priorities by age group:

  • Among respondents under 35 (7% of respondents) and 35-64 years of age (48% of respondents) there is a high priority to change or improve music of the church to deepen our worship experience.
  • Among 65+ (44% of respondents) there is a high priority to develop the spiritual generosity of the people to financially support the ministry of the church.

Thank you for joining together to pray for and to encourage the Church Mission Team in their important work with the CAT data as they digest its meaning and determine what topics might need further exploration at this time.  Once the study is complete the results will be published. Stay tuned! God is at work among us building, strengthening, and edifying Christ’s church. To God be the glory.

—Pastor Shari

P.S. Look for an article about the West Side “Hearth and Home” culture in the July newsletter.

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