Survey process updates

Terry Shue is director for leadership development of Mennonite Church USA

By Terry Shue

The Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA sees its task of leading the church as a process of listening to the Spirit and to the people of the church while discerning a way forward.  One of the ways they have decided to listen is through a survey that was sent out to the active and retired credentialed leaders in our database.

Many of you have already filled out the survey. In fact, to date we have over 900 persons who have done this. Thank you!  This information will give the Executive Board a clearer picture about the three areas the survey engaged. These areas are:

  • the involvement and connection the local congregation has with the area conference and the denomination.
  • the preferred structural balance of authority between congregation/area conference/denomination.
  • the inclusion of GLBT persons in the church.

There has been extremely high interest in this survey which is causing a high response rate (nearly 50% already) which we hope to further increase. The cutoff date is September 8. We also are aware that a number of persons have been frustrated by not receiving a survey when they presently have an active or retired credential held by their area conference and are known to be in our national data base.

Information in the data base, which is called MennoData, contains the personal information of the pastor as well as their Ministerial Leadership Inventory (MLI) forms.  We are sorry for the frustration which this has caused. This database is held by our national office where the pastor has access to their personal information with editorial rights and responsibilities.  Unfortunately as many as 500 persons did not have an active email address listed or any email address listed and thus they were not included.

With several thousand persons in this database, there is no way the national office can keep this personal information current through the various changes in a person’s life, email addresses in particular. This database also feeds the live online directory which is accessible from our Mennonite Church USA’s website and is only as accurate as the data which is placed and maintained by the individuals themselves.

It is my encouragement to you to check out the information you have in your profile page and assure that it is up-to-date and accurate.  Thanks for helping to keep our records and information as useful and accurate as possible.

If you have questions about how to access your profile in MennoData, please contact Beth Hunsberger at mli@mennonites.organd she will give you the information you need.  Please contact Shelley Buller at ShelleyB@MennnnoniteUSA.org  if you are an active or retired credentialed pastor and did not receive a survey.

Official comments policy for users of Mennonite Church USA’s websites and other social networking tools. We reserve the right to remove any comment that violates this policy.

  • The purpose of comments is to engage in constructive dialogue.
  • Please provide your own full name.
  • Be respectful. If you’re offering criticism, focus on others’ ideas — not their motives, person, character or faith. Consider the log in your own eye before pressing ‘Enter.’

Comments are moderated. Comments with any content that is deemed obscene, libelous, defamatory or hateful toward an individual or group will not be approved. Comments will remain open for 10 days.


8 thoughts on “Survey process updates

  1. I am troubled by the fact that those ministers without email addresses will not be surveyed or will possibly not know how to respond, since exclusion of those persons (likely more rural, more mature) will skew the results.

  2. This might be an unnecessary question, but if there is any need for help in analyzing data of this survey, I would like to personally volunteer. I would love to email the appropriate person a sample of my current work involving online survey designing/collecting data and written report. Keep up the good work- this is a great way to gather more information on important subjects!

  3. The problem here is that a segment of people are not represented in the survey. Because LGBT people can not be credentialed their interests are not represented because they will not receive the survey. Also their are a number of churches without pastors. In my way of thinking the survey results will be skewed and invalid due to populations left out.

  4. I could not Agree more with Cindy Singer’s comment above more: “The problem here is that a segment of people are not represented in the survey. Because LGBT people can not be credentialed their interests are not represented because they will not receive the survey. Also their are a number of churches without pastors. In my way of thinking the survey results will be skewed and invalid due to populations left out.” Because of our denominations historic and continuing current exclusion of LGBT people from The Table of the Body of Christ in our churches, the results of this survey (and any survey that polls Only those already “inside”) is necessarily skewed and invalid. Polling Only the status quo is a wonderful way of maintaining the status quo of exclusion and distancing ourselves from the uncomfortable and offensive grace of the call of Christ. I know and believe that our commitment to Christ calls us to do better.

  5. We seem to be really caught up in what people have to say about issues. Are we concerned with what the scriptures say? Most people in Jesus’ time did not really agree with what he spoke about and taught; why do we expect our understandings of scripture to be so much more inspired now?

Comments are closed.