FAQs- About the Local Community Survey

An online survey to listen to people in the local community

Alvin Balemesa Ptizf8qriu0 Unsplash

The Local Community Survey is an optional survey, for people connected with a church, but not regularly attending, for example community dinners, playgroup attendees, youth group parents.

It is designed to learn about the views and practices of people in the community (beyond regular attenders) and help a church to strengthen their connections with the wider community. 

Local Community Surveys are optional to order, as part of the 2021 National Church Life Survey. 

Local Community Survey

1. Who can run this survey?

This survey is designed to be hosted by a local church. It is an online survey tool will help a local church to listen and offer support to people in their local communities. It takes no more than 5 minutes for someone to complete.


2. Who should be invited to complete the Local Community Survey?

This survey is for the ‘community contacts’ of a local church. A community contact is anyone with a connection to your local church, but who does not regularly attend church services. e.g. participants in activities such as play groups, ESL classes, community gardens, soup kitchens and community dinners; church hall users; local community associates and more.


3. Is this survey anonymous?

The survey is anonymous and confidential.


4. What is the purpose of a Local Community Survey?

The purpose of this survey is to help local churches listen and offer practical and spiritual support. It targets areas where local churches can make a positive contribution.

The survey introduction text says
“Our church is seeking to better understand our local community and its needs. Will you please take a few moments to give us some feedback?
This survey is being conducted by NCLS Research, Australia's leading church research agency. This survey is anonymous and confidential.”


5. How does it relate to the 2021 National Church Life Survey?

The Local Community Survey is being offered as an optional extension of the 2021 National Church Life Survey (2021ncls.org.au). It is not currently offered as a standalone survey.


6. How many questions and how long will it take?

There are 21 questions. It should take a person between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.


7. What topics does the Local Community Survey cover?

The survey includes questions on the following topics:

  • About the neighbourhood: levels of satisfaction, whether people help each other and how churches can make a useful contribution
  • Wellbeing: overall wellbeing, levels and sources of stress and support
  • Church connections: Points of connection with churches, history of attendance at church services in person or online and likelihood to recommend this church to others
  • Spiritual/religious identity and practices and interest in spiritual resources from church
  • Demographics: age, gender, ethnicity, education.


8. How long does the Local Community Survey run for?

You may choose the length of time. We recommend a minimum of two weeks to around a month.


9. How does a church promote the Local Community Survey?

A unique survey link for your church: NCLS Research will provide you with a unique online link to your church's survey. Anyone who clicks on the link will be able to complete the survey.
Actively promote: Churches will need to actively promote this survey to get responses. Taking part is always optional for people and there are a lot of demands on their time.
Respect people's privacy: It is important to respect people by only sending it directly to groups that have given permission to be contacted. We suggest using a 'snowball technique' where you ask others to forward it on their own contacts.

Multiple ways to promote: There are many ways to promote this survey link including:

  • Publish it in your church newsletter
  • Highlight on your social media - perhaps paying to boost it in your local area
  • Promote on your website
  • Send it to everyone in your own church directory lists
  • Ask your regular church attenders to promote it to their own contacts
  • Ask your key contacts (such as a co-ordinator of an activity, a hall hirer) to send it to their own contact lists.


10. How much does it cost?

The cost of a Local Community Survey is a flat $200 (plus GST) for an unlimited number of online surveys. This fee assumes that it is ordered as a component of the full 2021 NCLS.


We hope your local church uses the Local Community Survey to inform positive action by reviewing, reflecting and acting on what your contacts have shared.


Sign up now