Before we get into the next consideration of results, we note that there was a rush to the survey during our last post. 33 people went and took the survey, almost a 50% increase in a couple of days. We were wondering if we were going to see
the Outwardly OPC Reader Survey trending on Twitter! (If you’d like to start the second attempt at making it viral and haven’t taken the survey yet, go to: Reader Survey
When we saw the rush to take the survey, we wondered if there was a reason. Do people want to counteract the results? Do people think their views weren’t represented? The results are interesting.
33 people took the survey in a couple days, most of them presumably prompted by the first results post. Guess what? There are a couple of noteworthy differences, but basically the same result.
* 87.5% of those new 33 responded said either they haven’t seen a conversion from the world join the church or they’ve seen 1 or 2 but they are few and far between and years go by without one. (The first post, last week, had this number at 89%).
* An encouraging small deviation: 4 people of the 33 answered that “it happens fairly regularly at their church at least every year, sometimes a couple times a year.”
* And one other deviation from the first post results: 12 of the 33 (36%) said they haven’t seen conversions from the world join reformed churches. That is considerably higher than the first set of answers (13%).
Onto the 2nd Set of Results…..
Our first survey, along with asking these questions of observation, also asked about why these trends might be true. We posed a number of options, no doubt imperfect. The answers were scattered across lots of options as may be expected and quite of a few gave us their own thoughts in the “Other” category. (Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts!) We’ll be talking about and sharing some of those in the future (completely anonymously—they are anonymous to us).
Let’s just take a look at the results and then a few comments (On this question, you could chose as many answers as you like, not just one):
Observation #1, the top two answers split the emphasis, one on Christians and one on the church. Probably healthy.
52% chose that Christians are uncomfortable or afraid to evangelize
43% chose that Reformed churches focus on teaching and theology and neglect reaching the lost/evangelizing
Observation #2, the broad spread of answers (none exceptionally high, none low) could mean there are lots of reasons this is a weakness or it could mean we’re not sure or clear what the reasons are–just a thought for now.
To not neglect anyone who answered the survey, this question said, “IF you think this is a weakness in Reformed churches…” There were a couple of people who told us they didn’t believe it is a weakness.
Also there were not many, but a couple of people expressed concerns about evaluating this, talking about conversions, and putting a number on these things. They are wondering why do it and where it might lead. We hear that concern and plan to talk more about this, but rest assured there isn’t some kind of agenda to try this, that, or the other tactic to “fix” the issue. We initiated this survey to draw attention to a couple of things: We want to continually think about, evaluate, and talk about how we are doing as Reformed churches in this most important area of our calling to advance the kingdom. We trust everyone wants to do that.