Listening to churchgoers in unprecedented times

A survey to listen to churchgoers' experiences of church and life

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Listening to church attenders and their experiences of church and life is the aim of the National Church Life Survey.

How will such reflective evaluation serve us in an unusual and fractured year?

Heading through 2021, many churches and leaders are adjusting, planning, reshaping and re-establishing ministry activities. The opportunity to listen to churchgoers and local communities, to help discern the best way to respond, may assist leaders to re-build group connections and to re-form an owned vision for the future.

The 2021 National Church Life Survey is designed to be an inclusive, life-giving tool that not only appraises and measures, but also listens in order to help discern a way forward, in such times. 

The 2021 NCLS:
•    listens to the experiences of churchgoers, to gather their discernments and evaluations. 
•    helps equip local church leaders to respond contextually and relationally, as they identify the needs and lived experience of their people.
•    assists denominational leaders to plan strategically and pastorally for emerging needs and opportunities.


This year, the 2021 NCLS will track emerging trends, with specific questions addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on churchgoers across the country. Measures of personal wellbeing amongst local church leaders are also included as an addition for the current climate.


The survey is a safe and effective way to hear from everyone. It is a listening tool, with credible research design, by which local church leaders can gather the thoughts, hopes and feedback of their own attenders. They can see emerging trends in the lived experience of people practicing their Christian faith, whether that is face-to-face, in a virtual online setting or in a hybrid models of church. 


Church leaders also learn from one another, as the National Church Life Survey canvasses tens of thousands of leaders in thousands of congregations, to listen, evaluate and identify effective and sustainable practices.

This unique research project provides each participating church with a Church Life Pack of survey results, practical resources and planning processes for churches to use, as they reflect and plan together for the future of mission and ministry in their own context.



More information

10 reasons why churches take part

Leading through change and navigating complexity

What does church health look like in an era of isolation?

Reconnecting with your church and community

What churches receive