Endorsements from church leaders

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Trusted by more than 20 Christian denominations, the five yearly National Church Life Survey provides thousands of churches with a credible evidence base and life-giving resources, to assist them to make informed choices and move forward.

Many denominational leaders have given their endorsements for the 2021 NCLS. See why they choose to take part in this mission research venture.

The following collection of endorsements have been received from denominational leaders around Australia.


Rev Simon Hansford

Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT, Moderator

The Uniting Church has been a strong advocate for NCLS from the beginning. The insightful research and the clarity of the results help us understand how we can serve our communities by developing resources in our congregations across our Synod. The NCLS also enables us to understand the challenges facing the contemporary Church: attitudes towards institutions, communicating in new ways, how communities are formed and how to engage with them. We are also aware of the shapes and makeup of our faith communities and how to encourage them. We are thankful for the gift NCLS is in the life of the whole Church.


Right Rev. Peter Lin

Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Bishop

In a rapidly changing society, I see NCLS not simply as helpful, but as necessary to understand where we have been, where we are headed and what we must do to most helpfully proclaim the gospel and grow our people to maturity in Christ. And so I would eagerly encourage all churches to take part in the next NCLS.


Rev Dr Steve Bartlett

Baptist Churches NSW & ACT, Director of Ministries

NCLS is a unique opportunity and resource for the Australian church, and a wonderful tool for ministry both at the local level and beyond.  Baptists in NSW/ACT, through BaptistCare NSW, are pleased to be sponsors.  I would strongly commend the value of participating in the NCLS in 2021.


Most Rev. Geoffrey Smith

Anglican Diocese of Adelaide, Archbishop

Adelaide Diocese ran an NCLS across the parishes earlier this year (2020). The NCLS staff were really helpful in facilitating the arrangements and results have given parishes valuable tools to assess their situation and plan future action. The Diocesan results have given us really helpful baseline data to help us assess the impact of strategic actions we are taking across the Diocese.


Rt. Rev. Richard Condie

Anglican Diocese of Tasmania, Bishop

Our church leaders benefitted from the NCLS presentation given at our Ministry Leaders’ Conference.  It was helpful to be shown how to dig deeper into the NCLS statistics and see how that intersects with general Australian religious and spiritual beliefs.


Wayne Alcorn

Australian Christian Churches, National President

We are immensely grateful for the NCLS Research over the past 30 years, that continues to provide church leaders with outstanding insights into the trends of church life across Australia. The data gives us a detailed picture of strengths and weaknesses, that is extremely valuable when strategizing and planning for the future. This is an excellent resource that benefits everyone who is passionate about seeing the Church grow in health and influence.


Rev. Keith Jobberns

Baptist Ministries Australia, Director, National Ministries

The National Church Life Survey (NCLS) has become an essential resource for the leadership of local Baptist churches as they seek to be more effective as agents of God's mission in their local context. For each State Baptist Association and at a national level the NCLS research is pivotal to the development of missional strategies for the Australian Baptist movement as we seek to see our nation transformed by the good news of Jesus. I would encourage all the leaders of our local Baptist churches to make use of the 2021 NCLS as a research tool to sharpen the missional edge of church. As a previous local church pastor the information gained was incredibly insightful and helpful.


Rev Stewart Pieper

Baptist Churches Queensland, Director, QB Services

The work of the NCLS is a gift to the Australian church. QB churches have found the NCLS reports to be extremely helpful in engaging the congregation and leaders to evaluate the health and vitality of the church across several areas. These insights can assist church leaders with sharper ministry focus and informed forward planning. We encouraging our churches of the QB Movement to take part in the 2021 survey.


Rev Stephen Baxter

Baptist Churches Tasmania, Mission Director

Over many years, insights gained from the National Church Life Survey have assisted Tasmanian Baptists to be more effective in ministry and mission. I encourage our Baptist churches to be involved in the 2021 NCLS so as to continue the good work in assisting us be the church God has called us to be.


Pastor Steve White

C3 Churches Australia, National Executive - Oversight and Church Health

I am pleased to commend to you the NCLS, both as local church pastor who has used it in two churches that I’ve led, and as part of a denominational leadership team that has been using the process since 2006. Insights gleaned from the survey help contextualise and prioritise the plethora of leadership options that often so confusingly present themselves in church leadership. Results obtained can help bring wisdom and focus to the required effort and energy needed to lead a church effectively in this day and age.


Fr Brian Lucas

Catholic Mission Australia, National Director

For Catholic Mission, the information we receive from the National Church Life Survey is incredibly useful in understanding our supporters and their involvement in our work.


Sarah Moffat

Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, Acting Chancellor

The results of this survey will provide Parishes, the Diocese and the Australian Church as a whole with a rich resource for reflection and pastoral planning.


Deacon Josh Clayton

Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, Director, Mission and Renewal

All parishes in the Bathurst Diocese participated in 2016 and we intend to again in 2021. It was a very successful experience for our parishes, with follow-up seminars that gathered parish leaders together and got positive conversations and planning underway.


Sr Grace Roclawska

Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, Head, Formation for Mission

We encourage all our parishes to participate in the National Church Life Survey for 2021.


Rev. Dr Jack De Vries

Christian Reformed Churches of Australia, Ministry Development Coach

As a small but growing family of churches, the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia are keen to see the gospel advance throughout Australia. We are committed to being 'a church reforming to reach the lost for Christ'.

The research done by NCLS provides our churches with a depth of insight into our Australian ministry context as well as valuable resources to expand the impact of the gospel in and through our churches. We encourage all churches to engage with NCLS and avail themselves of the assistance that NCLS provides.


Ron Simms

Full Gospel Churches of Australia, National Leader

Full Gospel Australia is pleased to endorse the National Church Life Survey to our churches and ministries. NCLS should result in a unique insight into the state of the church both in the local arena and across Australia. It will give local pastors insight into the health of their discipleship, engagement with their local communities, worship, and more. We encourage church leaders, especially those in Full Gospel Australia, to engage with NCLS.


Gary Hourigan

International Network of Churches, Australia, National Director of Church Health and Growth

INC had by far our strongest involvement with the 2016 NCLS National Survey, with 80% of our churches participating.  Not only did this give us helpful insights into the state of “faith” in the Australian Community, but it gave us insight into the current health (strengths and development areas) of our denomination as a whole and for each local church individually.  These insights are extremely valuable when evaluating progress towards our mission.  These results are always dynamic, so we will be inviting our churches to participate once again in 2021 to see what progress we have made and what challenges are now current.


Suellen Holmes

International Network of Churches, Australia, Secretary

We are looking forward to the next NCLS as we found it incredibly helpful and insightful for locations, but also looking to see the progression of building of more data to aid our organisational learning.


Dr Tania Nelson 

Lutheran Church of Australia, Executive Officer – Local Mission 

 As a practitioner in mission, I’m excited about the comprehensive data received from NCLS Research. The Lutheran Church of Australia has been participating in the National Church Life Surveys since the surveys commenced and we will continue to encourage and enable all congregations to participate.  

As a congregational leader, the data provided for my location is vital in our local planning. We don’t need to spend as much time in a strategic planning process, when clear data is supplied to us by NCLS Research in one detailed, easy to read and readily accessible snapshot. 

As a denominational leader, the combined data from all our congregations provides valuable information for future planning and decision making. Looking at our data trends over time assists us in reviewing our programming and assessing the value of current foci. 


Pastor Richard Schwedes

Lutheran Church of Australia, NSW District, Assistant Bishop

The NCLS has been a helpful tool for leaders, pastors and councils to gain insight into their congregation. Leaders and pastors have gained confidence in their leading giving them current, local and appropriate data and information. This has either confirmed their thoughts or helped them have a greater understanding of the community they are leading.


Pastor David Schmidt

Lutheran Church of Australia, QLD District, Director, Ministry and Mission

The National Church Life Survey provides a consistent approach to understanding the heartbeat of the local congregation. When used with intention and purpose, it can provide solid direction for future missional and ministry planning.


Pastor Stephen Schultz

Lutheran Church of Australia, SA-NT District, Assistant Bishop for Mission

I have found the data from the NCLS profiles to be invaluable when working with congregations as they assess their ministry and mission. The instrument provides a wealth of information that helps congregations to reflect deeply on their identity, strengths and areas to focus on in the future. I will be strongly encouraging all congregations in our District to complete the 2021 survey.


Erin Grainger

Lutheran Church of Australia, Victorian District, Congregational Support and Migrant Ministry Officer

The NCLS Survey results and Community Profiles are great to use in conversation around healthy Congregations and relevance to local community context. The data can kick start some new ideas and assist in honing in on where to focus action.


Lieut. Colonel Lyn Edge

The Salvation Army in Australia, Secretary for Mission

Like the men of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32, The Salvation Army seeks “understand our times and know what we should do”. The NCLS is a vital tool for us as we understand ourselves and our times so we might adapt to serve Australia and Australians in our generation.


Pastor Scott Guyatt

Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod, Director - Mission Strategy

The National Church Life Survey offers a unique insight into the state of the church in Australia: measures of health and vitality, insights into worship and discipleship life, engagement with community and more. We’ve used NCLS results to look at local congregations, regions, the experiences of different age groups, and our whole denomination.

Not only have the standard NCLS reports been helpful to us, but the team have been ready and able to produce specific insights from the data available, and to work with us on denominational requirements both before and after the survey is conducted.

I’m delighted to work with NCLS and thankful for the tools they provide that help make sense of the current state of our church, and unlock future directions for us.


Rev. Prof. Darren Cronshaw

Australian College of Ministries, Head of Research and Professor of Missional Leadership

As a local church pastor at AuburnLife Baptist, NCLS survey results have helped me to understand congregational assets and challenges, and to help our team map these trends over years. 

As a denominational researcher with the Baptist Union of Victoria and Australian Baptist Ministries, collaborative research project partnerships with NCLS helped us go deeper in analysing strategic denomination-wide trends in identifying and developing leaders, engaging younger generations and equipping churches for faith-sharing and broader community development. The results have been published in blogs, popular magazine articles and top tier academic journals.

As a mission and leadership teacher and research supervisor with Australian College of Ministries, NCLS data helps me offer students real insights (beyond mere anecdotes) into the health and mission opportunities that the church in Australia faces in the 21st Century.

NCLS is a gift to the Australian church – their data, publications and consultancy are an invaluable (and often underutilised) resource for Australian church leaders.


Peter Mayrick

Partners in Ministry, Director

Partners in Ministry seeks to help church leaders & churches be more effective in ministry, under God. To do this we need reliable information. The NCLS has provided a solid backbone to our consultancy for years -  as we compare churches to ‘best practice’ and to past years. We strongly encourage church leaders to incorporate the NCLS as a natural part understanding church life and health.


Luke Kenny

Chair, NCLS Research Board of Governors 

NCLS Research is the world's recognized leader in delivering church life surveys in Australia and globally. By participating in the 2021 NCLS church leaders will benefit from data analysis spanning over 30 years, combined with the latest research to lead the change in their broader church.