Spiritual Brunch from 11/12/17: Survey Results
A total of 33 surveys were collected following the brunch. There were 6 additional surveys submitted and included in the study.
39 surveys total were used to formulate the study results.
Regarding Question One: Congregants were asked what sort, if any, of Spiritual Leader/Minister do we desire to hire? There were three possibilities provided:
1. Adhere to the current bylaws and limit our search to a “duly ordained or Licensed Unity Minister” (UCSG Bylaws Section 4.02 (a) 1.)
2. Expand the search beyond the definitions currently approved in the bylaws
3. Continue with multiple speakers without a Minister/Spiritual Leader
Of the 39 surveys received, 31 people answered this question. 12 chose option 1, 18 chose option 2, and 1 chose option 3:
Regarding Question 1, part 2: If we decide to search for a Minister/Spiritual Leader, how many Sundays should we have this individual speak?
1. Every week
2. Three times a month
3. Twice a month
Of the 39 surveys received, 38 people responded. 4 chose option 1, 25 chose option 2, and 9 chose option 3. (It should be noted that in one or two instances a person responded with “4 weeks, and 5th week off.” This answer was regarded as option 1 by the analyst and was included in this group.):
Regarding Question Two: Congregants were asked to select 2-3 strengths/positive qualities of UCSG and were asked to choose among the following:
1. Unity core beliefs
2. Sense of community
3. Sunday service
4. Fellowship after service
5. Youth programs
Many congregants selected more than just 2 or 3 options, and considering ALL selections, we showed a diversity represented by the following chart. Congregants were also asked to rank their selections, and when this was done, results reflected a very similar consistency. With nearly half of responders ranking their results, approximately 1/3 (one third) of participants selected “Sense of Community” as the greatest strength/positive quality of UCSG, followed in equal weight by “Unity Core Beliefs,” “Sunday Service,” and “Fellowship After Service.” One person selected “Youth Programs.”
Additionally, a few participants added “Music” or “Music Program” in the “other strength” section of the survey.
Regarding Question Three: Congregants were asked to select the top 2-3 things they believe UCSG should accomplish in the next three years, with the following options:
1. Grow membership
2. Expand classes and programs
3. Identify charitable cause to support (more community involvement)
4. Expand music program
5. Provide more social events
6. Develop a clear and inspiring mission statement
7. Improve the exterior of the building, including the street sign
8. Keep things the same
9. Promote Unity to millennials and youth
10. Promote Unity to 50* and older
11. Create and develop teams to support the center
*This number was changed to “40” on several surveys.
Once again, participants often selected many more than just 2 or 3 “top priorities.” They were, however, asked to rank them in order of importance and once this ranking was taken into consideration it helped clarify what is likely seen as the most important things to accomplish in the next three years. The ranked results are represented by the following graph, with about half of responders providing their “number one” priority: 6 selected 1, 1 selected 2, 1 selected 4, 4 selected 6, 3 selected 9, and 3 selected 10:
Regarding Question Four: Congregants were asked what they envision as the focal point of a Spiritual Leader/Minister. There were six focal points offered, congregants were asked to rank them:
1. Sunday service message that is engaging, powerful, and thought provoking
2. Growing membership
3. Counseling, weddings, funerals, and related family/personal support
4. Classes and education
5. Youth program development
6. Actively engaged in the community promoting Unity
While the results came back overwhelmingly in favor of the first option (Sunday service), results were interesting when comparing all answers provided versus ranked answers, revealing how critical option 1 appears to be to most congregants:
Regarding Question Five: The final question of the survey asked congregants to rank qualities of a Minister/Spiritual Leader they felt were most important. There were five qualities given:
1. Communication (inspirational speaker, good listener, demonstrates prayer consciousness)
2. Human Relations (compassionate, sensitive, fosters collaboration and compromise)
3. Pastoral Care (home/hospital visits, prays with members)
4. Leadership (inspires a sense of confidence, mentors/develops others, encourages volunteer participation)
5. Spiritual Counseling (maintains confidences, helps people develop a spiritual practice, ministers to people in crisis)
To analyze these results only the number one option was selected from each participant. With 36 of the 39 participants answering the question, 25 selected option 1, 6 selected option 2, and 5 selected option 4:
Conclusions: Having done our best to include as many congregants as desired to offer input, we can conclude the following:
1. The congregation is somewhat split over the decision to hire outside of the current UCSG Bylaws, but most (58%) do favor expanding the search for a spiritual leader beyond the current definitions found in the bylaws.
2. Congregants strongly support the new Spiritual Leader/Minister speaking three Sundays per month with guest speakers filling in on the fourth and the occasional fifth Sunday (66% of congregants responded this way).
3. UCSG feels that we have a strong sense of community, but also show strength in Unity core beliefs, Sunday service, and fellowship after service.
4. The top priority seen among congregants appears to be the desire to see growth in numbers over the next three years; although, congregants are very split over which age group we should focus our growth on (Millennials versus 40/50+). We also desire to develop a clear and inspiring Mission Statement.
5. Overwhelmingly, congregants believe the most important thing we want our new Spiritual Leader/Minister to achieve is the ability to offer a powerful, engaging, and inspiring Sunday message.
6. Similarly, congregants also believe the most important quality of our new Spiritual Leader/Minister is the capacity for excellent communication.