A good friend, who is a priest of a church, wrote to me and asked me to help and to advise him how to make a poll in the church that he leads. I thought that it might be useful to make up an article and to share these advice with all those who want to do the same thing in their churches.
The necessity of the poll
Before you make a poll, it is important to understand how necessary this is and what its benefits are. If you want to make a good planning of the church, you have to begin with a good evaluation of what you have managed to do until now. Here is where the poll may help you. You may say that you know very well how the ministry in your church proceeds, otherwise, aren’t you the priest who leads the church? And yes and no. No man can see all aspects of a ministry or a phenomen. That’s why, it is good to be attentive and to try to find out how other people see the things. The Bible says that the king Solomon was the wisest man on the earth, but he had many counselors and he wrote in the Book of Proverbs, that has his name:
Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs of Solomon 11:14)(NASB)
He writes in the same book that:
Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed. (Proverbs of Solomon 15:22)(NASB)
Making a poll in the church offers you the posibility to see the ministry from more points of view and to have a good image of it, so that you will be able to make a good planning for future.
The make of the poll
You will have to make up a form or a questionnaire with the questions that you want to ask the people, so that you may make the poll. It is good to be limited on the number of questions and even if you want to find out many things, it is better to make more polls on certain periods of time. If you ask many questions in a single questionnaire, people will be willing to answer less.
The questions have to be made up clearly and simply in the questionnaire. They don’t have to be opened questions, so that the receiver might not understand what is expected from him. The order of the questions is important too, it has to be a logical one.
Before you ask all questions, determine what specifically you want to find out, what is the purpose you want to attain while making this specific questionnaire.
Ask the questions in such a way, so that you may get objective answers. Sometimes the questions are asked so, that they suggest to people to give answers that are not according to what they exactly think. And don’t forget, if you give more variants of the answer, usually, people choose those that are the first in the list. That’s why, think to ask the questions in such a way, that people may do an effort to think and you will be sure that you will get objective answers. Ask the questions positively, so that it may not provoke discussions that can lead to conflicts or to suspicions.
After you have written all questions on a form, check once again how they sound, maybe it is good to give the questionnaire to someone else, so that he/she may fill it up and you will be sure that he/she understood the questions and that they are made up clearly. Then, apply the necessary corrections and print out the necessary number of questionnaires, so that each member of the church may get one copy.
Explore the information from the questionnaires
I saw for many times when someone made up the forms for the poll, gave them to the people to fill them up, but he never worked with the forms, he didn’t study the gathered information. In this case, it was for no reason to make the effort to print out and to fill up the questionnaires. Since you have filled up the questionnaires, you have to spend sufficient time to study them, to put the gathered answers together, to see what they point out, and what are the things that are repeated. Making this analysis, you will discover many things and realities that will help you to make a wise plan for future and to make wise decisions.
Plan and act according to the discovered reality
Every poll makes evident some realities, that have not been seen previously and that can be seen only after it is made a good evaluation and analysis of the filled up forms. Since some realities were distinguished, plan how to act further on and act. The questionnaire was made for this, so that wise decisions and specific actions may be made.
God bless your church on all accounts and may you bring the light of the Gospel with all power and wisdom.
Translated by Djugostran Felicia