The responses to the second Church Transformation Survey have been received and the results tallied. In this second year of the survey, 150 churches participated. (At 61 percent of our 245 churches, up slightly from the 144 last year.)
Our sincere thanks to all the pastors and church leaders who completed it.
The purpose of the Church Transformation Survey is to track the impact and use of CCMBC initiatives toward our goal of multiplying Christ-centred churches to see Canada transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ. To do this, we look at the aggregated responses from churches in three areas: Life Transformation, Church Transformation and World Transformation.
With two years of data now, we can begin to measure change over time.
One hundred churches filled out the survey in both 2015 and 2016, and these 100 churches provide the best sample for measuring change over time.
We also now have a combined sample of 193 different churches who filled out the survey in at least one of the two years. This combined sample represents nearly 79 percent of our churches, which is best sample for looking at overall averages.
The full results of this survey are available at mennonitebrethren.ca. As more churches complete the survey consistently each year, we will have a better measure of movement toward our mission!
—Sam Reimer, former chair of the Measurement Committee, for the Executive Board
[contentcards url=”http://www.mennonitebrethren.ca/news/mb-church-transformation-survey-2016/” target=”_blank”]
My family came from one of those MB churches that probably had many positive answers on the survey. One possible weakness of the survey, though, is its inability to measure ministry opportunities the church opts out of, how leaders make those decisions, and whether those decisions are biblically based. I was dismayed when our senior pastor ignored my repeated pleas to help us encourage my Dad during his dark journey through a terminal illness. And yet, this senior pastor is praised for his missions trips overseas. My Dad gave the majority of his adult life to ministry within the MB conference, both in overseas missions and in churches and other ministries across Canada. For him to be ignored by his fellow servant during the most painful and lonely time of his life was absolutely stunning and eye-opening to our family. I was also astounded when our associate pastor justified our church’s lack of involvement in Dad’s life, saying that people were ‘uncomfortable’ being with him due to his symptoms. To my understanding, the gospel and Christian life are not about personal comfort. And yet, this same associate pastor has been praised for ministry initiatives like riding his bike to raise funds for refugees.
Getting back to this survey, when churches engage with the suffering, it may look encouraging on paper, but what we don’t see are the calculated ways in which God’s love is also withheld from those who are suffering. This survey measures MB churches’ activities, but it isn’t an accurate reflection of their spiritual health. That’s a survey I would love to see, and I think it would show just how much more growth and accountability are needed in the MB family. When my family finally realized that our walk with our lifelong church was over, I began calling other churches around town for support. Some responded incredibly with a show of Christ’s love that our family needed so desperately at that time. And when they asked whether my family already had a church, it broke me to have to share our story with them. Our former church may have been a bright light in your survey, but they accomplished the opposite through their handling of my family’s painful experience. I hope our story inspires leaders within the MB conference to raise the standard and make sure that what happened to my family doesn’t happen to anyone else.