An Interesting Questionnaire

Ernest E. Wilson
Nashville, Tennessee

A questionnaire was sent to a number of conservative congregations over the nation. Seventeen churches sent back a report. Ten of these churches were growing and active, but seven were either standing still or losing ground. It is interesting to observe the pattern of success or of failure among the two groups of churches. This report is pawed on to the readers, for their serious consideration. Maybe we can all benefit by the mistakes or the failures, and profit by the examples of the others.

Of The Ten Churches That Are Growing.

(1) All of the ten had full time preachers. (2) Eight of the ten had active and aggressive elders. (3) Seven of the ten had regular radio programs. (4) Eight of the ten had Bible correspondence courses that were offered either on their radio broadcasts or in newspaper advertising. (5) All ten of these churches had active personal work programs with visitation committees to check on the sick, the absentees, visitors, newcomers, and the unfaithful members. (6) Six of the ten kept an accurate attendance roll, and every absentee was contacted each week. (7) Nine of the ten growing churches had regular classes for teachers and for personal workers. (8) Five of the ten churches had slides or film strips that were being used in home Bible studies and four of the remaining ten churches had other forms of literature which were being used in cottage classes. (9) All ten of the churches were growing because each member - who was able and qualified was assigned a definite work to perform.

Of The Seven Churches That Are Not Growing.

(I) Four did not have full time preachers. (2) Six did not publish a church bulletin or do any advertising for their meetings or other services. (3) Five did not have radio programs. (4) Six did not check on their members or even bother to see who was absent, sick, erring, or in need. (5) None of the seven non-growing congregations had any system or order about its personal work, its home evangelism, or its teaching program outside the building. (6) Four of the seven: churches did not have elders, two others had men who were elders in name but were not functioning, and one had active elders... via Eastland News.

November 26, 1970