Knowing our church better

On the 29th of October last year, we conducted an anonymous survey during our church services. The aim of this survey was to get to know you better, so that we can plan our ministries more effectively. A big thanks to all of you who took the time to fill out the survey.

I want to briefly sketch a picture of the survey results and share with you some reflections.

People from all around Hong Kong attend St Andrew’s, with the largest proportion living in Kowloon (50%), then the New Territories (30%) and HK Island (20%). Whilst we have four English-speaking services and one Putonghua-speaking service, around 65% of our community speak Cantonese as their first language. We have people of all ages attending, but our largest demographics are young families and people aged 45-60. Whilst many members have emigrated from Hong Kong in the last 3 years, we’ve also welcomed many people into our community. Over a third of the survey respondents have attended St Andrew’s for less than 3 years. People come to St Andrew’s mostly because of recommendation (over 30%), invitation (25%), and walking by on Nathan Rd (20%).

Looking at involvement in ministries at St Andrew’s, 75% of survey respondents attend our services weekly, 40% have attended our Partnership course, 38% attend a Growth Group, 35% volunteer either at St Andrew’s or through one of our local mission partners, and 77% give (either regularly or irregularly) to the ministry of the church. These are all figures that we’d love to increase.

spiritual growth happens in the context of deep connection to a spiritual community

One of the questions asked in the survey was about spiritual growth. Whilst we want to be careful in making absolute correlations between experiences of spiritual growth and the practice of spiritual disciplines, the data nevertheless highlights links between the two. Those attending a Growth Group are twice as likely to be experiencing spiritual growth, and those involved in volunteering are five times more likely to be experiencing spiritual growth. When it comes to personal practices, you’re almost three times more likely to be growing if you’re committed to daily bible reading, and almost four times if you’re praying for at least 10 minutes a day.

Our aim at St Andrew’s is to build a community of people devoted to Jesus Christ who proclaim his gospel to others. The survey data strongly confirms what the New Testament teaches: spiritual growth happens in the context of deep connection to a spiritual community, as we serve and encourage one another in God’s word. In other words, you get to know Jesus better as you get to know other Christians better.

Most of us crave a deeply connected spiritual community. We know that it’s good for us. But we also know that it’s costly. It costs us time, convenience, and energy. So, we’re tempted to hold back. May I warmly encourage you, don’t hold back. Prayerfully and intentionally immerse yourself in our community. Know the joy of deep connection with other Christians, as God transforms you to be more like Jesus.