Session Surveys Show a Snapshot of Member Trends

[November 5, 2007] by Garrett Caldwell, Upper Columbia Conference assistant to the president for communication, [UCMA]

The use of electronic polling devices at the Upper Columbia Conference 75th constituency session did more than facilitate delegate voting on officer elections or issues related to the conference constitution. With representation from every church in the conference, there was an opportunity to gather member information which could be helpful to church leaders.

For example, the communication department has the chance to increase the speed of information delivery as well as enrich the content it sends to members by using the Internet, but if most members have slow connections it would create frustration rather than help.

In the months leading up to the event, conference leaders gathered to consider questions that they might ask constituents on the topics of communication, church life, spiritual life, evangelism and family issues. The delegates appeared to enjoy participating in the surveys as much as in the election process.

Although the results of each question were immediately displayed on the screen at the session, the remaining members of the conference may also be interested in the responses to the questions.

Conference administrators and departmental leaders will continue to analyze the data in the coming months so that the implications of the answers will be more fully understood.

Here are the results of the demographic questions and the questions relating to communication. More results will appear in future issues.

Demographics

As with most surveys the margin of error may be ± 3 percent.

My gender is:

Male (296) 62%

Female (178) 38%

My age is:

Under 20 (9) 2%.

20-29 (29) 6%

30-39 (42) 9%

40-49 (94) 20%

50-59 (122) 25%

60 or over (186) 39%

I live in the following setting:

Rural (157) 34%

Small town (population: under 3,000) (52) 11%

Large town (population: 3,000 - 10,000) (69) 15%

Small city (population: 10,000 - 50,000 (121) 26%

Larger city (population: over 50,000) (66) 14%

I attended school up to the following level:

Elementary (4) 1%

High School (67) 14%

Undergraduate (college/university) (193) 40%

Graduate (college/university) (214) 45%

I am currently:

Married (416) 86%

Divorced (26) 5%

Single (39) 8%

I have been a Seventh-day Adventist for:

1-5 years (20) 4%

6-10 years (17) 4%

10 or more years (447) 92%

Communication Survey

I learn about UCC events, seminars and programs through: (Choose all that apply)

Bulletin inserts (257)

Gleaner (260)

Verbal announcements (203)

Announcements in the bulletin (243)

UCC website (29)

Local church newsletter (90)

Posters (70)

Videos (37)

Brochures (102)

The UCC needs to communicate with its members more through: (Choose one)

Print media (newsletters, magazines, bulletins) (169) 41%

Radio (30) 7%

Television (42) 10%

Internet (Web, Email, Pod casts, etc.) (175) 42%

My primary Internet connection is: (Choose one)

At home (242) 54%

At work (53) 12%

Both (104) 23%

None (47) 11%

My Internet connection at home is: (Choose one)

Broadband (high-speed) (266) 61%

Dial-up (slow) (104) 24%

I don't have an Internet connection (63) 15%

In the past year I went to the UCC Web site (www.uccsda.org): (Choose one)

1-2 times (74) 17%

3-5 times (69) 16%

6-10 times (32) 7%

More than 10 times (33) 8%

Website? What website? (219) 51%

I would like UCC to provide more ministry training resources through: (Choose one)

DVDs (239) 62%

Websites (96) 25%

Print materials (50) 13%

I would like my community to learn more about Adventists through: (Choose one)

Radio (80) 19%

Billboards (42) 10%

Television (180) 44%

Internet/Web (50) 12%

Magazines/newspapers (61) 15%

I would most like conference-sponsored ministry training events to be held at: (Choose one)

Camp MiVoden (59) 14%

The conference office (52) 13%

A nearby city (101) 25%

My church (200) 49%