Local Church Stories

Commendations from local churches who use the NCLS

Gosford UC Image

Thousands of churches across more than 20 Christian denominations in Australia use the NCLS as a life giving process to reflect on their health and build their vitality for the future.

The Church Life Survey is designed to be a positive, inclusive process to enable churches to evaluate, reflect and act. Practical processes are provided to inspire and guide a group or an individual to make best use of their survey results.

Read some of their stories.

(Photo: Gosford Uniting Church "Leading Change and the NCLS", Insights magazine.)

As a local church pastor at AuburnLife Baptist, NCLS survey results have helped me to understand congregational assets and challenges, and to help our team map these trends over years.

Rev. Darren Cronshaw, Pastor, AuburnLife Baptist, VIC, 20/3/2021


My church, the Seaton Christian Family Centre, has participated in the surveys every 5 years since 1992, and we have found them extremely beneficial. The surveys provide us with detailed information about what our congregational members are thinking about the church, their faith, level of satisfaction, what they most value, their commitment to the vision and values of the church .... and so much more.

Their answers, along with the church scores in the 9 core qualities, provide the basis for our leadership to make a rational assessment of our church health; leading to changes in plans, priorities and programs to address areas of weakness revealed by the surveys.

Then, in the following survey results 5 years later, it is always heartening to see increased scores in the areas which have been given more attention. Of course each survey usually reveals a declining score in one or more areas, alerting us to make further adjustments.

The opportunity to compare our church with other Pentecostal churches, and also other denominations, is also valuable. Obviously society is changing; and church attendance, loyalty to a particular church or denomination, etc are also changing. So it is helpful to check our progress, or lack of it, in relation to a wider body of churches.

Ian Hunter, Pastor, Seaton Christian Family Centre, SA, 26/3/2021


For the better part of a decade, Narara Valley Baptist Church has conducted the NCLS Survey every year. In conjunction with seeking God in prayer, the survey results form part of our discernment process in strategic planning. Studying the results of the survey assists us both in determining whether initiatives we've implemented have been effective, and also in determining priorities for the forthcoming year.

With something as eternally significant as being the church engaged in mission in a local community, it still amazes me that churches still opt to 'guess' about effectiveness, rather than partnering with NCLS to gather the relevant data. Engaging with NCLS yearly will revolutionise the way you approach ministry.

Craig Corkill, Senior Pastor, Narara Valley Baptist Church, NSW, 27/4/2021


As a congregational pastor I have used the NCLS since I was involved in pastoral ministry.   It has been a great tool to help me, congregation leaders and the wider congregation to understand our mission and ministry.  At times it has confirmed our thoughts and at times it has broadened our view of our congregation, enabling us to serve more effectively.  

Richard Schwedes, Pastor, St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Sydney, 27/4/2021


I am pleased to commend to you the NCLS, both as local church pastor who has used it in two churches that I’ve led, and as part of a denominational leadership team that has been using the process since 2006. Insights gleaned from the survey help contextualise and prioritise the plethora of leadership options that often so confusingly present themselves in church leadership. Results obtained can help bring wisdom and focus to the required effort and energy needed to lead a church effectively in this day and age.

Steve White, Pastor, C3 Monash, ACT, 8/10/2020


As a practitioner in mission, I’m excited about the comprehensive data received from NCLS Research. As a congregational leader, the data provided for my location is vital in our local planning. We don’t need to spend as much time in a strategic planning process, when clear data is supplied to us by NCLS Research in one detailed, easy to read and readily accessible snapshot.

Dr Tania Nelson, Congregational Leader, Lutheran Church, Adelaide, 20/10/2020


The opportunities for mission could be endless, but how do you focus with limited resources at hand? That’s where the NCLS comes into play; Lorna is hoping to use a combination of the Survey of congregation members and Census data for the community to help inform the congregation’s forward planning.
The survey – including the optional children’s survey – would help to ensure the needs of her congregation are understood. “What’s working? What’s not working? What do we need more of? Discipleship is the key thing,” Rev. Martin said.

Rev Lorna Martin, Minister, Gosford Uniting Church, 19/8/2021 as featured in Insights magazine