Prepare your church for the survey

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Before the Survey


Choose the best date for your church, either a survey day or a survey period, between November and February. Notify your church of the chosen survey date(s).

Determine the best way for your church to complete surveys, either together or individually, using paper or online options.

Share the purpose of the survey with your church. Affirm the value of the everyone’s contribution to build a sense of group ownership. 

To begin...

Timeline update- the impact of COVID restrictions

Due to COVID-related restrictions to meeting in person, some churches (particularly in NSW and Victoria) have decided to wait until February to run the survey. We encourage you to choose the time that best suits your church, between November and the end of February.

How is your church gathering? Together or separately?

Depending on your church's circumstances, suggestions are offered in the Guide on how to best run the survey at your church. Survey options include paper and online surveys that can be adapted to various levels of COVID-19 restrictions.



Survey Kits will be dispatched to participating churches from November. The Survey Kit includes a range of surveys, along with a Guide for the person coordinating the survey at the church and Site Instructions for completing the survey forms on the chosen survey day(s) at each site.


Notify your church of WHEN and HOW you will hold the survey

Let your church attenders know WHEN you plan to hold the survey, either a survey day or a survey period. N.B. The survey period has been extended until March 2022 due to COVID-19.

A poster template is available for use (see below). You might also choose to inform them of HOW you might hold the survey e.g. face to face during a worship service or Mass, together online during a streamed service, or individually at home.

More detail on how to adapt the survey during COVID-19 restrictions is available. Survey options including paper and online, or both are outlined in the Administer phase.


Display a Poster- showing your Survey Date or Survey Period


Share the purpose of the survey

Share the purpose of the 2021 NCLS with your congregation and invite their participation. Affirm the value of the everyone’s contribution to build a sense of group ownership. Every survey form represents the voice of a church attender, leader or child. The survey listens to their thoughts, opinions and experiences of church life. It is designed to be a positive, inclusive process to reflect on ministry and mission together and to help equip leaders to build for the future. An invitational video, and promotional brochure are available (see below).


Show A Promotional Video


Distribute a brochure or share online

Please note: The original timelines listed in this brochure have been extended until the end of March 2022, due to COVID-19. Churches are encouraged to participate when they can. We don't want to see any church miss out. Please contact the NCLS office for more details. Email: Phone: (02) 9139 2525.


Download the 2021 NCLS Invitational Brochure for Churches - Low Res (pdf)
(Note the dates have been extended until March 2022.)

Consider goals for how you might best use the survey process at your church

With your leadership team, consider your church's readiness to engage the survey process and determine some goals.

The survey is designed to listen to your churchgoers and help you evaluate your church's health and vitality in a positive process. This assessment then helps to identify and build on your strengths for the future. Local Church Stories are available to see how other churches use the NCLS process, along with a 5 steps process to help you get the most out of the survey experience at your church (see below).

Read Local Church Stories

See how other churches use a Church Life Survey and discuss ways your church might best utilise this process to review, evaluate and reflect on your church's vitality.

Consider the 5 steps to a successful survey

Determine some goals on how your church will best use the survey experience to assess your health and vitality and discern your direction into the future.

Checklist of key tasks to Prepare before your survey

A. Decide WHEN and HOW you will complete the survey and notify your church.

B. Communicate the purpose of the survey to your church and leadership team.

C. Consider any goals you want to achieve from the survey process.


NEXT STEP: From November 2021, receive your Survey Kit and ADMINISTER THE SURVEY WELL between November and March.


1. Prepare   2. ADMINISTER    3. Evaluate  4. Communicate  5. Act