What is the Church Development Tool?
The Church Development Tool is an extra feature you can switch on in the Marketplace.
It allows you to run a short anonymous survey with your worshipping community. You then get a simple report that gives you a clear picture of demographics, discipleship and evangelism in your church.
The survey results help you to look at your community with fresh eyes and find the opportunities for growth. This could be by building on strengths or addressing gaps. We then match you with resources that will help you with your chosen area of focus.
The Church Development Tool is now open for 2023 and will close on 30 November 2023. After that you will be able to view your 2023 results but you won't be able to add new survey responses.
If you used the Church Development Tool in 2022 you can also still view your 2022 results.
How to enable and access your Church Development Tool
Note: You need to be an editor on AChurchNearYou.com if you are not already. How to become an editor.
To access the Church Development Tool, log in as an editor, open your church in editor view and then click on Marketplace (at the top of the editor menu.)
In the Marketplace you will see a 'Church Development Tool' tile. Click the toggle to switch it on, and then click 'View survey and responses' to find everything you need.
That's it! For more help, watch the video or read the step by step instructions below.
Step by step instructions
2. Open your church in editor view, so you can see the editor menu. Show me how.
3. Click 'Marketplace' in the editor menu and find the Church Development Tool tile.
If this is your first time accessing the Tool, click or touch the toggle to switch it on.
4. Click the orange button that says 'View survey and responses'.
When you click the button you will enter your Church Development Tool page, where you can find the survey link to distribute and printed copies of the survey to distribute.
Tip: If you don't see the button that says 'View survey and responses' it is because you need to switch the toggle on first.
How do I gather responses?
Finding the survey
On your Church Development Tool page, you can find the survey link to copy and distribute, and download printed copies of the survey to distribute. These are the first items at the top of the page, they are highlighted in yellow in the screengrab below.
Someone who has access to A Church Near You will need to input paper responses on the online survey link.
Tip: If you want someone else to have access to the Church Development Tool to input paper responses, but don't want them to be able to edit any parts of your site, get them set up as a Champion.
On your Church Development Tool page we provide a range of resources you can use to help explain about the survey to your congregation and why you’re doing it, available to use if you want, including text you can include in notices and newsletters, template Powerpoint slides and a poster with a QR code to your unique survey link.
These resources are a little further down the page after the survey link. We have highlighted them in the screengrab below.
It’s up to you how you invite people to fill out the survey, but we know people are more likely to respond when there is a dedicated time for filling out the survey during or immediately after your usual activities.
For example, you could talk about the Church Development Tool at one Sunday service, with paper copies available to fill in there and then and the QR code posters displayed so people can complete on mobile there and then. Alongside this, you could leave the survey open for an additional week, during which you can circulate by email, invite midweek group leaders to share the survey with their group, and give anyone who wasn’t there on the first Sunday a chance to contribute.
How do I see my results and understand them?
At the bottom of your Church Development Tool page, there is a link to view your results and a link to download a document about understanding your results and next steps. We have highlighted these in the screengrab below.
If you want, you can contact your diocesan staff for discipleship or parish support for help interpreting the results and choosing what to focus on.
Can the survey be done for a multi-church benefice?
It's not currently available at benefice level. But you can circulate the link from one church to your whole benefice. To do this, set up the Church Development Tool for just one of the churches but share the link to that with all the churches in the benefice. All editors of the church you set the survey up through will be able to see the results and can share the results with the other churches.
We are sorry that with this method you won’t be able to see the breakdown of the results church by church. This is complex and not something we were able to build in 2022 or 2023.