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Resources for Renewal

Congregational Vitality Survey

What is congregational vitality?

Vital congregations exude a certain kind of vibrancy, a friendly welcoming manner, and the tangible presence of God. Those who attend regularly have a sense of purpose. They support each other by nurturing one another's faith and helping each other identify their spiritual gifts and use those gifts in the congregation and in the world. When they disagree they do so in a respectful manner, ultimately strengthening the congregation. The people in these vital congregations understand God's mission goes beyond their walls. They intentionally connect with the wider Christian community and within their local context to share the good news in word and deed by striving to be God's hands in the world.

God calls all people and congregations beyond survival and into an abundant life. As Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)

The Congregational Vitality Survey offers ways for congregations to easily assess their own vitality. It also provides some tools to begin understanding what aspects of your congregation are promoting vitality and what are distracting from it. ELCA congregations may take the survey online and view the results. Additional resources are available for follow-up and conversation.

The Congregational Vitality Project started as a way to better understand how congregations are living out God’s mission in their contexts. Linda Bobbitt (Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Synod from 2005-2013) in consultation with the ELCA Research and Evaluation department developed this simple, statistically reliable, and valid survey that looks at the outcomes of ministry in terms of how it connects with God, each other, and the world. The project continues by working to understand what factors contribute to or distract from vitality and how those factors might be intentionally addressed to improve vitality.