At a recent Conversation and Cake, Ana Stubbs suggested that we should have a survey of our community, Anglicans of Second Life. Not only that – she foolishly volunteered to write the survey and analyse the results!
Anglicans of SL has conducted two surveys in the past. One was brief, in July 2008, concerning times for worship and what style of worship should be offered. During Lent 2009 we conducted a very ambitious survey which could be completed online but which was enhanced by real time discussions on Epiphany Island. Our efforts generated a large amount of data about the demographics of our community, our worship, pastoral care and fellowship, prayer and spirituality, evangelism and outreach, and community involvement. We also examined our corporate life in the light of the Seven Marks of Healthy Churches.
Although early results from the survey were available in April 2009, it took us until April 2011 to generate and publish more detailed ones (not very good on our part!). However, even before publication, ideas from the community discussions had been informing our decision making as a Leadership Team. We may not have implemented everything that was suggested but we are still seeing the ripples from the impact made on our life as a group by those who took part in any way in our 2009 survey. There are ideas in the report on the discussions we had which can yet still help us to decide where to direct our energies.
Since Lent 2009 we have undergone many changes as a ministry. Not long after the survey was conducted, Mark Brown, our priest-in-charge, decided to resign and move on to other things. The structure and membership of the Leadership Team changed in the ensuing months. In more recent times we have begun to grow teams of volunteers to help with our ministry. Four years in the life of an online church is a long time. Hence the need for a new survey, FRED – Finding REliable Data. We may all have some sense of what our community is like but FRED will tell us far more accurately.
FRED has many questions in common with the 2009 survey. This will allow data to be compared. Once again we are using the Seven Marks of Healthy Churches to take an overview of how well our ministry is functioning. There is room for free text answers from those responding which will hopefully generate some helpful ideas and views.
Bearing in mind the extraordinary delay in publishing results last time, we have a firm plan in place. Ana will analyse the results in May and draw out interesting points which will be brought to either the May or June Conversation and Cake community meeting for discussion. The intention is to re-analyse the old data as well as analysing the new. The results will be published on the blog after their presentation at Conversation and Cake.
The Anglicans of Second Life Survey for 2013 is now open and will remain open until the end of April. So, over to you – tell FRED what you think of us!
Link to the survey: http://aoslsurvey.dreamhosters.com/index.php/633694/lang-en