Sunday, February 13, 2011

emerging churches 10 years on: progress update

Today was another step in my research into emerging churches 10 years on. This is involving interviews, surveys and focus groups.

Today I visited Cityside Baptist in Auckland. They had very kindly offered me their “sermon slot.” So I took some time to introduce myself and my research with them 10 years ago, and then gave them some space to fill out a 22 question survey form.

The questions are grouped in three categories

  • some are taken from the national census and thus allow comparison of the congregation against their suburb, city and country
  • some are taken from the National Church Life Survey and thus allow comparison against their denomination and the church in general
  • some are uniquely related to questions about faith and culture today

At the end of the day, 47 people completed survey forms. 

What is amazing is that ten years ago when I conducted a similar survey at Cityside, guess how many people completed survey forms?

You guessed it. 47!


The next step is to start to analyse the data. The plan is to return perhaps in the middle of the year to run some focus groups – to present the survey data and invite them to help me interpret it.  Plus I am aiming to present the research more formally at an Ecclesiology and ethnography academic conference in Durham, UK, in mid-September. And then, if all goes really well, I’ll roll it together with my PhD and look for a publisher.

But for today, I thankful for Cityside and pondering with amazement the number 47.

Posted by steve at 07:11 PM


  1. Praise God. I was visiting Cityside today. Otherwise there would only have been 46.

    Comment by Merv — February 13, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

  2. would have loved to have meet you. have often appreciated your comments on Paul’s blog


    Comment by steve — February 13, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

  3. Hi,

    My name is Ruth Powell, Director of NCLS Research. We are running the fifth National Church Life Survey this year in Australia. One of our key areas of research is innovation in church life. We are also hoping to follow up some churches that we have made contact with in the past. I would be very interested in seing your questionnaire and learning more about your research. Thanks

    Comment by Ruth Powell — February 15, 2011 @ 7:40 am

  4. We know each other. I’m Lynne Taylor’s partner and moved to Australia with her at the start of 2010. I think we might have met physically – I once visited cafe church back in 2000ish.

    We should talk. As part of Uniting College, we have started a pioneer leader stream, hoping to develop innovation in leaders. Let’s make contact offline


    Comment by steve — February 15, 2011 @ 7:58 am

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