What’s happening in your Church? 2016 NCLS update

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At a briefing held in Adelaide on Friday 31 March, National Church Life Survey (NCLS) representatives Ruth Powell and Sam Sterland provided an update on the progress of the 2016 NCLS survey results thus far.

The NCLS is a survey conducted in churches every five years (same timing as the National Census) to determine attendees’ discernments about vision, direction and passions for growth in their church.

Almost 3,000 churches from over 20 denominations have participated in the 2016 NCLS, with just under 250,000 surveys sent to the team – a number that is growing daily. The survey was made available in 10 languages, and a special survey was created for child church attenders. The NCLS team also commissioned the 2016 Australian Community Survey, which will allow them to draw comparisons between churches and the wider community.

During their presentation, Ruth and Sam confirmed that the first release of NCLS data will be shared online in the coming weeks. Individual churches will then be able to use their own profile number to access a simple summary of results from their congregation. The full church reports will be provided in hard copy at a later date. The exact dates for the release of the online summary and full report have not yet been disclosed.

The briefing provided an opportunity for representatives from several participating denominations to hear about the initial trends being reported. This information will also be confirmed and released at a later date.

The majority of the briefing session focussed on helping denominational leaders think about ways to equip congregations following the release of the NCLS data. Ruth and Sam encouraged church management to think about ways to work with local leaders to use the NCLS results to their benefit. Members of the Uniting Church SA Synod are already planning ways to help effectively engage congregations and mission networks with their results.

Please note: It is not too late to submit your church’s NCLS forms. The NCLS team are still accepting surveys and encourage those who have not yet sent them to do so. For more information, please contact Bev Freeman on 8236 4243 or email bfreeman@sa.uca.org.au

More information about the NCLS, how churches can access their results, and ways to engage with the data will be provided through UC e-News and New Times over the coming weeks and months.


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