Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where We're At

Over the summer, we did surveys to find out where we are as a church in relation to each of our 5 Disciplines. Here's the comprehensive results of those surveys.

Worshipping God

How long have you been a part of Trinity Family?
0-6 months – 22%
6 months – 1 year – 11%
1-2 years – 14%
2 years + – 53%

Were you a part of a Church before TFC?
Y - 80% N – 20%

How often do you attend Sunday worship?
Less than once a month – 11%
1 Sunday per month – 3%
2-3 Sundays per month – 21%
Usually 4 Sundays per month – 65%
When you miss worship, what’s your primary reason for doing so?
Sick, out of town, other commitments, work, life, sick kids, human condition, not make it a priority, laziness, family

What aspects of worship help you best focus upon God?Worship music is huge and the message is key, lots and lots of music, familiar music, communion time, stories in the message, dim lights, scripture during music and communion, stillness, confession, reflective music, meditation time, prayer, Donnie, sermon, intimacy of worship, reading scripture out loud
Are there any aspects of our Sunday morning worship that distracts you from God?
Trying too hard, kids in service, babies, not knowing a few songs in a row – I start to tune out, being back with the kids a lot, no, not at all, if it becomes a show, not being in the right mindset, too much standing, not taking focus off myself, leaders talking too much, too spread out in seating, technical difficulties, clapping, background graphics like the cross one

Do you have any suggestions for helping us better focus upon God during worship?
Getting people involved in the sermon, longer music time, prayer prep, share life stories, interactive readings, real life application of scripture

How often do you engage in the SOAP readings?
Less than once a week – 68%
Once per week – 4%
2-4 times per week – 21%
5+ times per week – 7%

On a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the highest), at what level do the SOAP readings help you grow closer to God?
1 – 30%
2 – 10%
3 – 30%
4 – 10%
5 – 20%

What practices of Trinity Family do you find the most enriching?
- SOAP #6
- Small Groups #3
- Ministry Teams 4
- Worship Music #1
- Communion #4
- Discussion groups after worship #5
- Preaching #2

Of the above list, what would you like to see more of?
In order of popularity:
Small GroupsDiscussion Groups

Other ideas: singing at beginning and end of worship, prayer time, singing old time songs, info on small groups, balances, small group discussion

What regular activities do you find draining?
Set up / tear down = hard, serving in kids area too often, set-up / tear-down, set-up/ tear-down, meetings, working with kids,

Connecting with Believers

On a scale of 1-5 (1 being lowest, 5 being highest) how relationally connected are you to others at Trinity Family?
1 -10% 2 -28% 3 -41% 4 21% 5

Are you a part of a small group?
Y 28% N – 72%

It is a way to get to know and grow with others in our church
Need the close walk together
It’s important and I believe small groups are a great tool for community and discipleship
To better get to know Jesus

or why not?
Split shift work schedule
No child care and finding the right time
Never been invited or offering any information
My small group stopped meeting
Work schedule
The most recent one I was in ended
Haven’t found a good time and my husband doesn’t want to go
Time constraints
I work nights and it’s hard to find a convenient time
Was part of one, now waiting for new group to start
Did a small group bible study, but it is on “break” for the summer. Really got connected to others in the group and feel very grateful for those new connections.
We tried it awhile back and found it was hard to attend with small children. My spouse and I were never able to attend together.
As older person – I’m working a late in life, rethinking, I’m perhaps too “old school” to open up to families raising kids and struggling to make a living
I am new
Work schedule
I’m new to Trinity
Because it disassembled

If it would help us to better foster relational connections, would you be open to a change in our Sunday morning worship facility?
Y -100% N

If it would help us to better foster relational connections, would you be open to a change in the start time for Sunday morning worship?
Y – 90% N – 10%

Would you be open to a periodic (maybe once a month) community meal after worship?
Y – 100% N

What suggestions would you have for helping the church foster relational development?
(write on back if necessary)
Use of the Liturgy in worship/ don’t make people move around/ Nametage – personally I loathe them but they really are good
The Point Leaders calling or sending personal email to people. Going to them instead of waiting for them to come to you.
I would like us to start having Sunday School. If not individual classes then as a whole church before service.
Maybe keeping an up-to-date list of people’s gifts, talents, experiences to help other’s needs. As well as a list of needs of the community.
More church functions for those who aren’t in small groups. Maybe some more “low-risk” small groups.
If the people who are the visible leaders in the church will be real with others, it will make it easier for others to be real.
Small groups get very connected with one another in the groups – not being a part of a group though, now causes me to see how the church can feel divided into groups – rather than having many small circles that know each other, care, etc. I would really like to see those groups connect with others to develop even more relationships. At an all church meal I still see just those groups talking. What if once a month or so, 2 groups get together and get to know each other – and those continue to rotate so that all groups at least have some connection?
I think you guys do an awesome job! You provide several ways for relationships to build
Bible study for old school Christians, not just newbies
I think you already are addressing the idea with small groups and meals. It will just have to happen by the people in God’s time.
Maybe bring back the preservice fellowship time with coffee and pastries. I love the community atmosphere at the park during potlucks. Good way to meet people genuinely before rushing into a more intimate small group setting.
Less show, more vulnerability, taking a collective look at the various gifts of the Spirit and how they cause us to rely upon each other.
Small groups, one-on-one discipleship, more frequent prayer meetings, discussion groups

Serving Others

Are you on a Ministry Team?
Y – 74% N – 26%

Please explain why or why not.
Too young, wanted to get involved more than just showing up at church, Because I feel it’s part of church – I also get fulfillment from it, to connect to others, because I feel called to work with kids, I love working with kids, I felt a need and decided to pursue it – Love Win, on a 2 month break, to serve God and give back, taking a one year break, I love working with and for the kids, I like to serve others, to give back to the other parents who watch my kids while I’m in church, Have been to TFC only 3 times, because I want to help and serve

Have you participated in a TFC Serves event?
Y - 41% N – 59%
Please explain why or why not.
Parents took us, Because I think it’s important, to serve the community, It’s a great way to serve outside of my circle of influence, I enjoy serving others, they’re a great time to do things together, Because Jesus loves so much we can’t contain it, conflicts with work schedule, work on Friday and Saturday, prior commitments on those dates, Kids had other obligations, other obligations and would need childcare, scheduling, child care, don’t find out about them in time or a scheduling conflict

What are some ways you enjoy serving others? Helping them with problems, making people feel less stressed and that someone cares, helping them with house work, I love to feed people – preparing or serving meals to people is a great way to serve them, helping them move, teaching and sharing what I have, anyway I can, being creative and taking and listening, hospitality – bible study – talking and listening, speaking – mentoring – teaching, being able to help where there is a need or a void, just helping, I like watching kids and making meals, Anyway I am needed, providing meals, helping kids, providing meals, socializing, cooking, cleaning, babysitting.
What is the best part about serving other people?Seeming them smile and knowing you are really making a difference for them, knowing they couldn’t do it without my help, the joy, meeting a need for someone else and loving on them in a tangible way, someone else’s life is made better or easier for awhile, the way some people react, knowing I helped someone or gave someone a different picture of God, being the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, making a difference, the unexpected that God allows to happen, seeing them smile, knowing it makes them happy, the fulfillment of watching the difference you have made, knowing that you’re helping, seeing the appreciation on their faces, seeing them smile
What’s the hardest about serving other people?
Time constraints, finding the time, time, someone else’s life is made better or easier for awhile, giving up my time or sometimes my money when I already feel limited with both, being interrupted, sometimes it’s awkward and sometimes it conflicts with schedules, remembering to help myself before helping others, coming up with ideas and the time, making it not about me and my image, breaking out of comfort zone and time constraints, being put in uncomfortable situations or environments, having the tools, nothing really – it does get in the way sometimes – but it’s okay, not knowing whether what you’re doing is helping, finding and making the time, setting aside time, the time

What’s one way TFC could better serve the community around us? helping people deal with everyday emotional problems, food drive, once a month TFC serves events, branch out to visible community events – the natural gathering of people at these events would allow for a possible large gathering, maybe see if we could help the kids in our community like the program for the inner city kids, we could do a clothing and food giveaway over a month – this was done in my previous church and helped to open up to the community

Giving Sacrificially

Do you give regularly to the ministry of Trinity Family?Y – 68% N – 32%

Do you give regularly to another ministry?
Y – 34% N – 66%What is your primary reason for giving? Yes
Help others, being God’s hands, because I love God and it’s the thing I want to do, What I do as a Christian, it is right, to be obedient to the call, to help directly without a bureaucracy soaking up a higher percentage, help the church, church home, because we recognize that others have more need than we do and we want to help others, to help other people of the church, to make life better for the less fortunate, take care of my church, it’s what God calls us to do, biblical command, it makes me feel good to know I’m being obedient to God and helping others, God has been good to us and we want to give back through the church, I know it’s what God asks of us – but it has also become a way of life – something I learned from my parents, to serve others in need, that more good can come from what we’ve been given, way of showing obedience and love to God, “supposed to” – working on changing that attitude J, “trust me in this and I will open the windows of heaven and pour out my blessings” – Malachi 3:10, I want to be a generous person, to serve God in love, thanks

Literally living paycheck to paycheck – we are continuously in the red to survive, feel I should but have no extra money – or at least it seems that way, so others are taken care of, a call to give, wanting to help, to bless others (gives to ministry other than TFC)

What do you believe is a person’s primary reason for not giving?
Selfishness / unorganization, greed or not knowing, selfishness, swamped with debt, seeking securing in saving, not enough or a bad case of “mine,” Don’t think they can, financial strain – wanting to hold onto their money for their own wants and needs, because they think it’s there’s or they think they can’t afford it, first leap is very tough, they think they cannot afford it, assumed lack of fianc├ęs and “sickness of the mind,” feel like they cannot afford it, thinking they cannot afford it, worry and need for personal gratification, being afraid of not being able to take care of themselves – not being in control, fear, not understanding that they can’t afford not to, money is “tight” / consequences of prior spending, feel like they can’t afford it, fear, afraid that they won’t have enough, being blind to blessings already received, feeling overwhelmed and cultural pressures

Greed, don’t feel like they have enough, rather spend on self, being disorganized, feel family and pay bills first, selfishness or faith issues, not believing they can afford it and being new to the church, financial stress, feeling insecure about needs being met, many excuses, not having the money, not having money,

What inspires you to give? Yes
Kids, our great church, knowing it’s going to spread the word, others in need (especially those who give of themselves), my parents example of unwavering faith, knowing it will go directly to a real need, God, stores of need, children in need of basics like food, water, clothing and shelter, the feeling you get by helping out others, poor children in Afghanistan and other places, knowing God will take care of me, obedience to God – that’s what I strive for, stories like the ones shared today, without God’s help I wouldn’t have any income so its by his grace I can earn any money, the feeling of making a difference, It was something I “learned” from my family, inspiring others, seeing the difference a financial gift can make to those in need, knowing God can use money better than I can, the faith and trust that are required / the peace that comes with it!, freedom of not being controlled by money, knowing what it’s like not to have, the cross,

To feel and know what God wants me to do, remembering my mother and her faithfulness, how God uses the money, helping others with greater needs than me, other people’s stories, remembering God’s provision which includes us providing for others, following God, knowing it is what God asks of us, when I do give I LOVE the feeling I get, wanting to help, how I was raised
What discourages you from giving?
Irresponsible adults, not knowing the future, frivolity / squandering what is given / poor stewardship, my husband’s doubt and negative reaction, a need to save for a “rainy day”, my checkbook, fear of not making it financially, feeling like we won’t have enough money at the end of the month, thinking I don’t have the money, concern’s about long term financial stability, tight month, I still don’t “own” a home!, tight finances and non-obvious consequences, “mine disease”, my small paycheck J, my own fears of being in need, temptation – it’s tempting to set it aside for our own security, feeling like gift is misused – or not being able to see results, feel like there’s never enough money, times that feel like God is not providing – my father’s most generous person I know and I still struggle, fear, knowing what it’s like not to have, stress

Lack of income, waste / misuse / or having to miss a bill in order to tithe, paying bill and debts first, not enough money, financial strain, paying bills, not knowing, consent from spouse, not knowing how the gift will be used, not budgeting, not knowing where the money goes

How would you define giving that is sacrificial?
Giving up something I want and giving that money away, not knowing the future, could be saving it but I give it instead, going without in order to give, money your family needs but you give it anyway, giving until it hurts, something that might “feel” like too much, sacrifice, giving when don’t feel like you can or don’t have enough, giving when you think you can’t afford it, forgoing certain luxuries or wants in order to give them and money, giving with love and prayer and faith, just giving to a cause or to something that you KNOW does not directly affect you, when you can’t afford to give whatever it is, having to give up some of the “extra’s” in life to give, giving by faith, giving beyond what you can “afford” or giving til it hurts a little, giving beyond what you can “afford” or giving til it hurts a little, having to give up something I need or enjoy to help someone, you’re giving up doing more for yourself – even ‘responsible’ self acts like savings or getting debt free, a gift that challenges the giver – whether 1% or 50% - something that is intentional, giving even when you think you can’t afford it, surrender involved, any giving, giving even when it “hurts,” giving enough that it impacts me daily,

Giving what you don’t have, a blessing that gives back 10-fold, giving first, just looking beyond ourselves, giving even when it hurts, giving of yourself when you may have to change something, giving no matter the feelings – doing it though you don’t know what will happen,
Do you have a story about “God’s Math,” when you gave sacrificially and God provided in unexpected ways?

Just on a regular basis I am always worried about how I will make ends meet – but when I tithe or give first out of each paycheck, God has always provided for me – or given me more than I need.

Growing up parents struggles with money always worked out that when he would sell a car it would bring in income when it was needed.

Many times I have been asked to “sell my field” give up jobs, living arrangements car, people in my life – God always provides, He has been faithful to a promise from Psalms, “Lord, do not let me be disgraced.” My past two years have been surrender and sacrifice and learning to trust God, having nothing, God is my everything. And he is faithful! My life is simple but God’s love is extravagant.

We’ve always been on the back end. We’ve done a few “big gives” only because we got bailed out a few years ago.

When I give I tend to always be able to pay my bills.

No. Except that I have simply “never gone without anything I needed.”

We helped out a homeless family a couple of summers ago I had everything we needed.

We helped out a homeless family not too long ago. It didn’t go very well but we know we did everything God asked us to do. We would do it again in a heartbeat.

Donated $500 and brother and sister-in-law paid off our $1,200 credit card bill to help us pay off our debt.

I have always been able to pay my bills and give to God and others and have extra.

When we gave to 98.9 charity a month or so later I got a phone call from my brother, who makes quite a bit more money than we do and over Christmas we had been telling our family about our Dave Ramsey plan and my brother called me a month or so late and said they had been “called” to give mony to help us out and they wanted to pay off our credit card! They more than doubles the amount we gave away! God is good!

Investing in Future Christ-Followers

1) Were you a part of a church before connecting at TFC?
Yes – 62% No – 38%
2) Do you currently have a close friendship with someone who does not yet know Jesus?
Yes – 88% No - 6%

Why or Why not?
They are just my friends
Just do
Everybody has their own choice

3) Have you invited an unchurched friend or family member to TFC within the past 6 months?
Yes – 69% No – 31%

Why or Why not?
To experience the great atmosphere
Because I know this person seeks acceptance and this would be a great place for her
I thought they might enjoy it
Not enough
Because I want them to experience this sanctuary because they have questions

Scared to
I’m new within the past 6 months

4) Do you feel comfortable inviting an unchurched friend to TFC’s Sunday morning worship?
Yes – 88% No – 12%

Why or Why not?
Because I want them to find Jesus as I have
I just wanted to say that TFC is the definition of Christ-follower. Church isn’t all about the great service put on every Sunday, it is about being in relationship with Christ as well. This is one of those places you can go where you can be real and there is grace given. Thanks for being AWESOME!
I know it won’t be uncomfortable for them
I know that we won’t isolate them but sometimes I worry that some “Christian colloquialism” will slip out by someone up front that will be misunderstood.
I feel they will be received well and will feel comfortable with the atmosphere of worship.
Because you don’t have to “be” anything, you can just be you

Afraid of rejection
I’m usually comfortable presenting something unless I know everything about it. I don’t know everything about Christ.
TFC seems open and quite unassuming

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