About a week-and-a-half ago the worship and programming leadership conducted a survey among a diverse sampling of people in our church regarding the Worship Services at Parkview. This survey included questions regarding every area of our worship service as well as information regarding our Family Ministry venue Family Connection. If you would like to see the general results of that survey, you can view them at this link.
Over all, the general results of the survey were affirming that we are doing a good job in many categories within our services. Perhaps more telling were the comments in the areas that need some refining. As always, when people have the opportunity to share anonymously they can at times be a bit uncharitable in their commentary. Despite this reality, we were able to see trends in everything from preaching to music to communication that will be very helpful as we develop strategic ministry plans for the upcoming school year. If you’re observant, you’ll likely notice some of those changes in the near future.
This survey was strategic in that it generated some good conversation among leaders within the church that will help guide us in many future decisions. In this regard, I am very optimistic that we’ve got an excellent opportunity to blaze some new trails in our upcoming ministry season.
To clarify one thing, I know that some may be inclined to critique the wisdom behind surveying a congregation regarding their preferences. Some may ask, if Jesus told us that if we followed him we would be persecuted, then wouldn’t we be most pleased with results that were critical of our practices? To this my answer is yes and no. If we are criticized for our commitment to worshiping in spirit and truth and doing all we can to share the gospel with the lost world around us, then by all means we should applaud critical feedback. On the other hand, if we are criticized for our inability to engage people in their cultural context, then we should view both criticism and affirmation as resources to help us grow and change. The last thing Parkview’s leadership wants to do is make everyone as “comfortable as possible”. In the same regard we do want to do all we can to participate with God in lighting a fire that ignites a movement of the gospel in people living missionally in Iowa City and around the world.