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Sample Surveys for Adding a Second Service
Sample Surveys for Adding a Second Service

Surveys are a way of discerning attitudes, questions, and concerns about adding worship services. Here are three samples—two general surveys and one related specifically to religious education. They can be modified easily for your specific situation. Also, they can be useful for collecting names of people who would be willing to volunteer to teach in the religious education program or help out with other tasks, such as greeting, hosting, or providing refreshments.

Sample Survey on the Proposal to Go to Two Services

  1. If we went to two services with a program period in between, what activities would you suggest for that interim hour?
  2. If we went to two services, what would you like to see in the 9:00 A.M. service? In the 11:00 A.M. service?
  3. Do you have suggestions for modifying the proposal for adding a service?
  4. Do you have ideas on how to assist the staff with their additional Sunday responsibilities?
  5. If we went to two services, which session of church school would you prefer to teach?
  6. If we went to two services, what should be implemented first in the 10:00 A.M. program period?
  7. If we went to two services, which service would you be more likely to attend? 9:00 A.M. _______11:00 A.M. __________
  8. What do you think of the idea generally?

Thank you very much for responding to this questionnaire. If you have any questions about our plans for next year, please call (contact information).

From the First Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York.

Congregational Survey on Sunday Service Alternatives

Responder Profile:

  • Name (optional) _______________
    • Are you a member? __ yes __ no
    • If yes, for how long have you been a member?
      __ less than 1 year __ 1–2 years __ 3–5 years __ 6–10 years __ over 10 years
  • On average, how many Sunday services do you attend per month from September to June?
    __ less than 1 service __ 1–2 services __ 3 or more services
  • Do you have children in the religious education program? __yes __no
  • How many hours per month do you spend on fellowship activities related to running the church? (Include activities such as committee meetings, organizing social events, teaching classes, and bringing refreshments. Do NOT include attending services, classes, or social events.)
    __ none __ less than 1 hour/month __ 1–4 hours/month __ 5–7 hours/month __ more than 8 hours/month
  • Do you attend church social activities? __ yes __ no

Survey 

  • Have you noticed any recent congestion in our Sunday services space? Check all that apply:
    • __ at the door upon arriving
    • __ latecomers standing in back
    • __finding accessible open seats
    • __in the parking lot
    • __ in religious education classes
    • __ in closing circle
    • __ during coffee hour
    • __ during “Time for All Ages”
    • __No, not at all
  • What are your current feelings about the possibility of our church’s moving to double sessions to meet our needs for space and to promote further growth? Check the ONE response closest to your current attitude.
    • __ I’m excited about the possibility and ready to start tomorrow.
    • __ I’m excited about the possibility and think we should start next September.
    • __ I agree it is necessary, but I can’t personally give more time to support it.
    • __We should wait until we have standing room only every Sunday before starting double sessions.
    • __ We should try all other reasonable solutions before considering double sessions.
    • __ I’m willing to increase my financial support to avoid having double sessions.
    • __ Double sessions will hurt the Fellowship.
    • __ If the Fellowship starts having double sessions, I will stop coming.
  • What time(s) would you be willing to attend a regular weekly service assuming you could attend only one service? Rate ALL these times as (B) best, (A) acceptable, (C) conditionally acceptable, or (N) would not attend:
    • __8:00 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 9:00 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 9:30 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 10:00 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 11:00 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 12:00 noon Sunday
    • __ 1:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 2:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 3:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 4:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 5:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 6:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 7:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 8:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ Wednesday evening
    • __ Saturday evening
  • What time would you be willing to have your children attend religious education (RE) classes? Rate ALL these times as (B) best, (A) acceptable, (C) conditionally acceptable, or (N) would not attend
    • __ 8:00 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 9:00 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 9:30 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 10:00 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 11:00 A.M. Sunday
    • __ 12:00 noon Sunday
    • __ 1:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 2:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 3:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 4:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 5:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 6:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 7:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ 8:00 P.M. Sunday
    • __ Wednesday evening
    • __ Saturday evening
    • __ Not applicable
  • Rate ALL the following schedules for double sessions as (B) best, (A) acceptable, (C) conditionally acceptable, or (N) would not attend either service:
    • __ Two Sunday morning services
    • __ Sunday morning and Sunday evening
    • __ Sunday morning and afternoon
    • __ Sunday morning and midweek evening
  • Rate ALL of the following alternatives to double sessions as (B) best, (A) acceptable, (C) conditionally acceptable, or (N) would not attend. (Do not consider costs or availability of a facility.)
    • In a larger facility with religious education at same time as a single service:
      • __ single Sunday morning service
      • __ single Sunday afternoon service
      • __ single Sunday evening service
      • __ single midweek evening service
    • In a larger facility with religious education before or after a single service:
      • __ single Sunday morning service
      • __ single Sunday afternoon service
      • __ single Sunday evening service
      • __ single midweek evening service In our current facility:
      • __Have a short service for children, teachers, and parents starting 15 minutes before the regular service. Other adults would enter after the children leave.
      • __ Give children and teachers their own service, and don’t have them participate in the regular service.
      • __ Have ushers and latecomers remain standing until after the children leave.
      • __ Have children stay in their chairs during “Time for All Ages,” making room in front for more chairs.
      • __ Rent another classroom for coffee hour.
      • __ Have children participate in the regular service only once a month. (Others would expect to arrive early on those days, or stand in back until the children leave.)
      • __ Never have full intergenerational services.
  • If we decide to move to a new facility,
    • About how much would you be willing to INCREASE your financial support per week in order to find a new facility that would accommodate growth in a single service? Check ONLY ONE:
      •  __ none __ $1/week __ $5/week __ $10/week __ $20 or more/week
    • Would you be willing to take children to a different location for religious education? __ yes __ no
    • Would you be willing to have children’s religious education classes in your home? __ yes __ no
    • Would you be willing to set up chairs, hymnals, the sound system, and so on each week for service? How many times per month? Check ONLY ONE:
      • __ none ___ once in two months __ once a month __ twice a month ___ three or more times a month
    • How would you feel if the sanctuary had a prominent cross or other religious symbol? Check ONLY ONE:
      • __ It wouldn’t bother me. __ I wouldn’t like it, but I could tolerate it. __ I would stop coming. __ It would depend upon the symbol. Please specify: _______________
  • Effect of double session on Sunday School teacher recruitment:
    • Would you consider teaching Sunday School at some point? __ yes __ no
    • How many times per month would you be willing to teach if you could attend a second service?
      • __ none __ 1 __ 2 __ 3 __ 4
    • How many times per month would you teach if teaching meant missing the church service?
      • __ none __ 1 __ 2 __ 3 __ 4
  • If we go to two services, what ideas do you have to help us maintain the sense of community that we currently share?
  • Describe one or more benefits that you can think of from having two Sunday services and religious education programs.
  • Describe one or more negative aspects of going to two services and religious education programs. Note: If you have more extensive ideas than this form allows, you may write comments on an additional sheet. 

Survey came from the UU Fellowship of Sunnyvale, California, as they considered all options for overcrowding in their rented space.

Sample Questionnaire for Parents of Church School Youth

This is a sample of the questionnaire from a congregation that chose to offer a limited religious education program during the early service and a full program during the later service. The congregation also includes special activities during the second service for the children of religious education teachers.

Dear Parents,

The move to two services requires planning on the part of the Religious Education Committee so that we can offer religious education classes to meet your needs. We intend to offer classes for infants through 6th graders at the 9:00 a.m. service, and for infants through high school students at the 11:00 A.M. service.

The same curriculum will be taught during each session. This does not mean, however, that you can move your child or children from class to class depending on whether you wish to attend one or the other service on any given Sunday. To maintain a stable classroom situation, we are asking you to make a yearlong commitment to either the early or the late service and to register your child or children accordingly.

To help us plan for the fall, we would appreciate your taking the time to answer the following questions and returning this questionnaire to the Religious Education Office.

  1. How may children (including infants) will you register for Church School for the 20__–20__ school year? _______________________
  2. What are their ages? _______________________
  3. What grades will they be entering in September? ____________
  4. For which Church School session do you intend to register your child/children?
    Circle one:
                                 9:00–10:15                               11:00–12:15
  5. As a rule, how many times a month do your children attend Church School? ______________
  6. The Middle School Class will be offered only at the 11:00 A.M. time. Do you have any children who want to be in the Middle School Class next year? Yes _______ No ___________ How many? _____________
  7. In the past our Church School teachers have been forced to sacrifice attending the service in order to teach. This year you can teach and go to a service! To make this even easier for you, activities will be available for the older children of teachers to complement the children’s classroom experiences. For children five and under, we suggest that they simply attend the regular classes, both sessions, because the activities for those ages are active and should be of value to them. For children six and up, we are planning a variety of activities and would like to know what you would be interested in for your child or children. If you are committed to teaching next year, do you want your child (children) to participate in these extra classes/activities? Yes _____________ No ______________
  8. Do you have a preference as to which session offers the extra activities? Yes __________ No _________ If you have a preference, which session would you like to see offer the extra activities?
    Circle one:
                                           9:00–10:15                                                11:00–12:15 
  9. Please circle the activities below that you feel would interest your children, and put the ages of the children next to the activity.
    Youth choir ___________ Youth hand bells _________ Drama __________ Art ___________
    Social service ______________ Quiet room (with books, quiet games, and adult supervision) ______________ 
    Teen lounge (in the Youth Room, with adult supervision, early session only) ______
    Storytelling (geared to certain age groups) __________
    Any other ideas for activities?______________________________________________________________
  10.  Do you have any other comments or suggestions to help us plan for next year?

And finally, staffing two Church School sessions will require more teachers! Would you be willing to teach?
Full year, 9:00 service____________ Full year, 11:00 service _____________
10 weeks, 9:00 service ___________ 10 weeks, 11:00 service ____________
If you are willing to teach, what is your name and telephone number?

Thank you very much for responding to this questionnaire. If you have any questions about our plans for next year, please call __________________, at ______________. 

About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

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