Measuring Satisfaction in Your Church

HappyCowWhen taking the Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT) provided by Holy Cow! Consulting, we measure how satisfied members are in the congregation. It centers on the feeling of belonging and lack of discord. It is important to understand why we look at this to measure the vitality of congregations.

The word “satisfaction” or “satisfy” gets mixed reviews in the Bible. The Psalms speak of satisfaction as a way that God connects to  people.  In Psalm 90:14, the writer entreats “Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”  Psalms 145:16 expands this thought to include other creatures:  “You open your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

In our work with churches and evidence in the database, we know that satisfaction factors are unique to each church. Overall satisfaction, when measured by congregation-wide involvement with the CAT, tells us what aspects of the church, pastor’s work and ministries contribute to the level. Churches with high satisfaction and energy are transformation and generally filled with members who have clarity about a mission that transcends them and draws them into a life where the Gospel is plausible and compelling…and satisfying.

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Noticing What’s Going On in Your Church

Leadership for churches has movements – like a liturgy or a dance. Each movement has its own timing and contribution to the whole.

The first step is a re-viewing of what has been and what is.

Using an evidence based process through a tested assessment offered to all constituents in the congregation, leaders can begin re-viewing,

Movement One: There is a spiritual discipline in seeing again, re-viewing with fresh eyes. Sometimes we avoid rather than approach what is already happening. “Re-viewing” is a leadership craft of just noticing what is going on—just as it is—unaltered by our good intentions or wise interventions. We let the situation display itself to us again. We can even try to see it as much as we can from multiple perspectives beyond just our own. If you “re-view” with fresh eyes, what do you notice? (~Larry Peters, CCG)

Mustard Seed offers church leaders tools and interpretation to begin an effective and invaluable re-viewing process for the sake of a stronger and vital mission for your church. Contact us today!6E5F0ACA-3F6A-402B-901F-05975496A09B.jpeg

Pursuing A More Vital Future

Most participants in ELCA congregations imagine a future for their church that is more vital from the present. In order to pursue such a vision, additional energy needs to be invested but where to start? How does the committed pastor and church council begin?

“The State of the ELCA” by J Russell Crabtree provides an excellent introduction to many realities of congregations and what particularities are working best in vitalized ones. Exploring  input from 60,000 ELCA members from congregations across the USA, Russ’ work helps leaders grasp the perspectives, experiences and aspirations that begin to shape awareness for contextualized pathways to vitality.

The Church Assessment Tool (CAT), offered to congregations by Mustard Seed Consulting, in order to gain clarity in developing a vision. The CAT 6DBCF7B6-4516-4D3D-B629-D2C884C6B5B6is a great way to start gaining the perceptions, experiences and aspirations of people in your church. Contact us to learn more. Then order this book as you prepare to base plans, decisions and goals on evidence rather than pre-conceptions or anecdotal biases.

Contributing Each Day

Be Kind. Be grateful. Be happy. Smile. Pray. Count your blessings. Sleep well. Meet new people. Keep in touch with old friends. Unplug. Try some- thing new. Treat yourself. Enjoy dessert. Play a game. Laugh out loud. Call a friend. Exercise. Read a book. Journal. Find a church. Sing a song. Live generously. Volunteer. Withhold complaints Give back Say no to too much. Rest. Relax. Make someone happy. Be the best Thank God!782A9946-4D81-44DB-8AA5-B3C478BBA43C.jpeg

Seed Planting in Grantsburg

Tonight we’re with the leaders and interim Pastor Mike Peterson

of Faith Lutheran, Grantsburg, WI. During their pastoral transition, they’re investing in giving all members a voice through the Church Assessment Tool. Then using the evidence gathered, they’ll be empowered to make better decisions with greater confidence as they move forward.

If your church wants to make an investment for moving through transition, or making plans for mission or ministry expansion, or simply getting a reliable read via ALL your members regarding the levels of satisfaction, morale, flexibility, hospitality and much more, the CAT is the best instrument available.

Mustard Seed would be happy to discuss options for your church!

Why People Join and Leave Churches


Once again J. Russell Crabtree (founder of Holy Cow! Consulting) has provided a resources to church leaders and clergy using the jewels fromf the database of hundreds and hundreds churches and the voices of tens of thousands of church members.

In this latest book, Russ takes the data and shows readers the three things that churches tend to do well in developing the people who join them.
Developing the case for shaping churches to be organizations of learning, Russ also shows areas where people become disenfranchised, even after years of vital engagement. Finally, Russ shows the evidence on what contributes to the deterioration of member’s engagement with a congregation.

This ground-breaking book is a must read for clergy, judicatory officials and church leaders.24987BCD-F409-402F-9044-1F74560C47B2

Meet in the Field

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” (Rumi, a 13th c poet).

When churches experience conflict, it is important that leadership move as quickly as possible to the field. There, commit to conversation with all parties that suspends judgment, where all walk and talk with one another and new learning can take root and grow for the sake of the mission.63745AFB-20AB-4503-BBFF-98FBE2B2CD34.jpeg

Seeds in Florida

Mustard Seed Consulting is headed back north after a marvelous time sowing seeds of evidence based discernment in FL.

Thanks to the leaders of Apostles Lutheran, Brandon and Pastor Jim Page. Working with MSC They now have clear insight and evidence as they proceed in making ministry plans for the next few years – thanks to the excellent Church Assessment Tool from Holy Cow Consulting

  • The weekend also included the installation of Bishop Suarez and a visit with Connie Schmucker in the synod office who helps congregations in transition.
    AB1489528-726E-4979-A3E4-A77931E9C7CC.jpeg great few days in FL

Small and Mighty


The size of a congregation makes no difference when it comes to offering meaningful worship, this according to a study by the U.S. Congregational Life Survey. Bigger churches might have larger choirs and more flash — but great worship takes places in congregations of all sizes. In fact, in smaller congregations fewer people reported feeling boredom or frustration during the service, and small congregations were more likely to offer worship services that help people with their everyday lives.

In this USCL survey, small is defined as those that average fewer than 100 people in worship. One of the surprising findings was how well those small congregations are doing, despite their financial struggles and worry about the future.

“In a small church, it’s much easier to get to know one another, to really feel you connect,” Deborah Bruce, co-author of the project said. Smaller churches need to learn that they “don’t need to focus on what’s going on in these megachurches to do effective ministry.”

People in small congregations were more likely to feel a sense of belonging than people in mid-sized or big congregations. Small congregations are places where the connections are stronger.

Being a small congregation can be a strength: people come to know one another and to really care.
Find out how your church measures on a myriad of measures by engaging with Mustard Seed Consulting in a congregation-wide online assessment. Contact us today.


Develop a Vision for Your Church

As the new year starts, many church leaders are looking at plans, goals and vision for the future. A typical question around the table is, where do we start?

Some believe organizational vision depends mainly on the imagination of its senior leader. That person articulates, defines and communicates the path while convincing others to come along.

Effective leaders know there is a better way and it isn’t dependent upon one person. To generate vision they start with the unknowing. This is the assurance that God is at work through the organization, providing a divine spark larger than our minds and views can generate. Setting aside individual agendas and ego, a way forward can emerge through prayer, conversation and one critical component: evidence-based discernment.

We can help you in engaging every voice in your church to provide evidence of how God is speaking and showing paths forward. Then, visions emerge with evidence and clarity for leaders to begin articulating vision and formulating plans to raise the potential for your church.

This is the best time to invest in a proven process for visioning. Mustard Seed Consulting is ready to provide you the tools and guidance to begin!