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"Imagine: Your Church in 2025." A Canadian Survey
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A new poll reveals dramatic changes ahead for one of Canada's largest Protestant denomination and the communities it serves. Does this apply to all Christian churches?

In a recent edition of The United Church Observer the results of a survey about the future of the church were provided and we are making the survey and its results available to Christian Life in London subscribers. The survey, "Imagine: Your Church in 2025" is a national Canadian survey that asked readers to envision what and where their church will be in 2025.

We are providing you with direct access to this survey, the questionnaire used and the full results. This makes for fascinating reading and as congregations disband at a rate of one a week, we expect this will be a useful tool for the pastors and their teams in their discussions and planning for the future.

A few of the basics about this survey:
  1. The survey was conducted by Jane Armstrong Research Associates for The United Church Observer. (The United Church Observer is an independently incorporated magazine that is affiliated with The United Church of Canada but is not an official voice of the denomination.)
  2. Purpose of the Research
    • Explore readers' assessment of the current state of their congregation and the church as a whole
    • Discover what they expect the church to be like in 2025
    • Examine their hopes and dreams for 2025
  3. The Survey Methodology:
    • 1107 Observer readers of all ages completed the survey
      • 514 online
      • 593 hardcopy
    • Questionnaire administered in English
    • Fieldwork completed between April 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013

Just a few of the many fascinating findings in the survey...
  • About half are optimistic and the other half are pessimistic about the future well-being of their own congregation in 2025.
  • Fewer than two in ten respondents think their congregation is currently growing. Most say it is declining in size or staying the same
  • One in three survey respondents think it's unlikely that their congregations will be using their current building in 2025.
  • 58% of survey respondents say people in their family who are currently under the age of 30 are unlikely to be part of a United Church congregation in 2025.
  • The survey also indicates that blogging and tweeting during church services isn't a welcome idea for older respondents but with the prevalence of mobile technology skyrocketing and congregations aging the survey suggests that United Church leaders will have to do some soul-searching about the role of technology in years to come.
  • Although opinion varies, there is notable concern that congregations lack diversity - a problem in its own right but also a possible factor in the trend toward declining membership.

Click here to download to view or print the survey questionnaire.
Click here to download or view the full detailed survey results.