Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Surveys for Student Ministry Assessment

If you work with students you know what it's like.  You're planning, preparing, hanging out with that hurting student or sitting in some kind of staff meeting (we all love those staff meetings).

Sometimes we run so fast we really have no idea how people are being served overall.

In my home church student ministry we're in a serious posture of listening and learning.  To learn more about the why and what of our assessment process you can read last Wednesday's student ministry post.

Part of our assessment process is sending and analyzing surveys.  Last week a few of you asked if I could share some samples of those surveys.

I was hesitant BUT what the heck.

As you look through the surveys please remember a couple of things...

1.  We're not experts at creating and analyzing surveys.

To be honest we have no idea what we're doing.  

Did you know there is actually a science to doing this kind of thing?  If you can find someone to help you think through how to ask the questions to get the information you need please take full advantage of that person's expertise.

Here are the broad questions we're trying to find answers too.
  • Are people in our ministry being cared for generally?
  • Do leaders and students feel connected?
  • How are people feeling overall about the student ministry?
  • Are we effective in communicating?
There is other information we wanted but these were the major themes.

2.  Obviously, these questions are for our ministry context.

They're very specific to IBC and the people we serve.

So, here are some samples to consider.  Take the ideas and use what you can to listen and learn from your ministry context.

As you move ahead here are some warnings.  

If you send and receive surveys make sure you have thick skin and receive the information in a way that brings life and growth to your ministry.  Sometimes the truth can hurt but if that truth results in serving kids and families more effectively it's worth it.

Warning number 2 - Student ministry isn't a democratic process.  The purpose of our surveys isn't to let people vote on their preferences, it's to discover how we can more effectively build a relational ministry that results in the life change of students, families and our volunteer leaders.

Whatever you do don't get defensive and try to figure out who said what.  A defensive non-teachable posture will result in the opposite of what you're hoping to accomplish.

So there you go, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

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