Congregational Research Services

Mission Study Design Guide Data Gathering for Ministry
Why Do a Mission Study? A Mission Study is an excellent tool to clarify who you are as a church, articulate what you stand for, explore why you operate the way you do and guide you in making decisions and setting goals for future ministry.
Throughout this study, strive to:
1) Focus on the positive and shaped by gratefulness to God and to each other.
2) Share stories of life -giving forces within the history and experience of your congregation, in which people share times when they felt most alive, most motivated, and most excited.
3) Imagine the shape of a preferred future, developing “provocative proposals,” finding common themes about “what might be” and shared images for a preferred future.
4) Explore new and creative ways to manifest these imaginative futures.

To help congregational leaders understand more about their church and its needs, we developed the Help for Congregations.   The webpage offers a variety of “do-it-yourself” research strategies for positive church improvement. These tools are particularly helpful if your congregation is conducting a mission study, preparing to call a new pastor or working on a long-range plan.You wouldn’t try to build a new home using just an electric drill – why work on congregational improvement without a full set of tools?

  1. Ten-Year Trends in Your Congregation: Statistical summary based on the Session Annual Statistical Reports submitted to the Office of the General Assembly. See how things have been changing in your congregation.
  2. Demographic Report: Learn about the people who live in the community around your church. The Demographic Report can help your congregation identify mission and outreach possibilities.
  3. Congregational Surveys: A survey can give your congregation a picture of who worships there (including age and marital status of members, average length of church membership, etc.), information about the strengths and priorities of church programs, and tools for strategic planning. Use a congregational survey to identify and build on your congregation’s unique strengths.
  4. Research Strategies for Congregations: A packet of easy information gathering tools designed to help you learn more about your worshipers and your local community.
  5. RCMS data (Religious Congregations & Membership Study): Details about the number and types of congregations and their members in every state, county, and metro area in the United States. Learn more about the religious landscape where your church is located.

Percept is a mission study/demographic program  that churches can use.  The Presbytery of New Castle maintains a contract with Percept.  Please contact the Presbytery office to request a ministry area study. 
Why use Percept Demographics?