In this episode, we talk about the factors that set the Extroverted Church apart and then use the stories of a few Extroverted Churches to give you some practical insights. The Extroverted Church is just what the name implies—it’s a church that is “turned outward.” It’s friendly; it likes to meet new people. It is also highly engaged in serving its community. However, Extroverted church congregants are weak in their core Christian beliefs and don’t engage very frequently in personal spiritual practices. Just nine percent of the churches in the REVEAL database are in the Extroverted archetype.
This podcast features an interview with Eric Arnson, the market research genius behind the development REVEAL. Earlier in his career, Eric led the North American brand strategy for McKinsey and Company, one of the world’s most respected consulting firms. Cally Parkinson interviewed Eric to learn more about his perspective on why church leaders should be interested in their congregants’ satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, with the church.
In this episode, we discussed the characteristics of the churches in the Introverted Church archetype, which compromise 17% of churches in our database, making it is one of the largest archetypes. As the name suggests, churches in this archetype tend to be inwardly focused. However, their congregants have strong beliefs in core Christian doctrines and are dedicated to their personal spiritual practices. These strengths provide a solid base for Introverted Churches to implement changes that will lead the church to become more vibrant.
In this episode, we discussed the characteristics of the churches that fall under the Self-Motivated Church archetype, which compromise 10% of churches in our database. Its existence is less intuitive and may be harder to understand at first than many of the other archetypes—like the Vibrant Church or the Complacent Church. Yet this archetype is one of the strongest, and Self-Motivated Churches are well-positioned to move toward greater vibrancy. Their congregants are on a spiritual journey that is, in fact, “self-motivated.” They have strong beliefs, well-established personal spiritual practices, and impressive rates of serving and evangelism. The church plays a more limited role in their spiritual lives than it does for congregants in other types of churches.
In this episode, we discussed the characteristics of the churches that fall under the Energized Church archetype, which compromise 12% of churches in our database. This archetype is the most likely “next step” for churches that are in some of the weaker archetypes (like Complacent, Average and Extroverted Churches). We have seen many churches move to the Energized archetype after they address issues that show up in their first survey, making the Energized archetype an important one for all churches to get to know.
In this episode, we talked with Jeremy Yancey, lead pastor of Timber Creek Church in Lufkin, Texas. Timber Creek has taken the REVEAL survey twice—once in 2013 and a second time in the spring of 2017. Both times the church fell into our strongest archetype—the Vibrant Church.
Jeremy served as Timber Creek’s Executive Pastor for nine years before becoming the lead pastor three years ago. Timber Creek is a 90-year-old church with its roots in the Assembly of God denomination. Like many Vibrant Churches, it’s large—more than 1200 adults attend weekend services—and it’s also young—one out of five of the people who took the survey were in their 20s, which is well above our database average.
In this episode, we discussed the characteristics of the churches in the REVEAL database that fall under the Vibrant Church archetype. The Vibrant Church, which is the strongest of the eight archetypes we described in Episode 10, is also the smallest archetype, accounting for 8% of churches compared with the Complacent and Introverted Church archetypes, which each account for 17% of churches in our database.
In this episode, we talked about our discovery of eight types of churches. We call these “archetypes” and they are akin to church “personalities.” Finding the archetypes was a huge breakthrough, not only because it gave us a framework for understanding differences among churches, but because it provided a focused lens to view each church. These archetypes help us see more clearly how a church is wired, so we can understand their results and prescribe a path to greater vibrancy.
In this episode, we talked about what we have learned about the process of spiritual growth based on responses to the REVEAL for Church survey. One key finding of REVEAL’s research is the Spiritual Continuum: four stages of spiritual maturity identified in our earliest research: Exploring Christ (10% of churchgoers on average); Growing in Christ (40%); Close to Christ (25%) and Christ-Centered (25%). Our goal with the Spiritual Continuum is not to put people in boxes. Once we discovered these four groups, we set out to learn what triggered movement from one segment to the next to help pastors determine the best next steps to help their people grow in their relationship with Christ. We call these drivers of spiritual growth “catalysts” because they speed growth much like a catalyst speeds a chemical reaction.
One of the most influential findings from REVEAL is its discovery of five best practices for churches—specifically, best practices for developing disciples of Jesus Christ. This was a discovery the REVEAL Team intentionally pursued. After we developed the Spiritual Vitality Index (SVI), we were able to identify the top 5% of churches in our database and find out what they were doing to be so effective at discipleship.
This episode focused on the REVEAL for Church survey itself. It’s the tool we’ve used over the past decade to give pastors insights into where their people are in their spiritual growth and what church leaders can do to help them. The survey was updated in 2016 with several significant improvements that are discussed in this episode.
In this episode, we answer a question that haunts many church leaders—what do people really want from the church? And is what they want the same as what they need? At the heart of this question—want vs. need—is the idea that people don’t want much from the church; that all they want is something “light;” something that doesn’t shake the status quo. Thanks to our dataset of responses to the REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey, we know that what people want IS what they need.
Today's podcast is all about the history of REVEAL—a story about a survey born in 2004 that’s become the gold standard for measuring spiritual growth for churches across the country. More than 2000 churches with 500,000 congregants have taken the REVEAL survey. Beyond size, our database is very diverse, including a broad range of church denominations, locations, sizes, and styles.