The 2016 National Church Life Survey (NCLS) is the world’s largest, and takes place in October and November.
For the last 25 years The National Church Life Survey (NCLS), has been conducted in the same year as the Australian Government National Census. The 2016 NCLS is the sixth wave of the NCLS project which involves over 3,000 churches from more than 21 Christian denominations or movements.
“The 2016 NCLS will provide a snapshot of the Australian church, capturing its social, theological and geographic diversity. This is the largest and longest-running local church survey in the world, with more than 400,000 surveys ordered,” said Dr Ruth Powell, Director of NCLS Research.
The survey will map the Australian church landscape and track changes over time. It will help church attenders and leaders to reflect on the health and vitality of their local churches. The NCLS Research team, responsible for the comprehensive survey, is an ecumenical group that aims to provide a credible evidence base to help churches build vitality and connect with the wider community.
“While we ask questions about a wide variety of topics, in 2016 we are particularly interested on how cultural diversity is expressed in local churches. It has been encouraging to see larger orders for surveys across nine different languages,” said Dr Powell. “We also want to learn about innovative practices in churches.” Another topic for the 2016 NCLS is ministry to children and young people. “Many churches are taking advantage of our Child Survey for 8 to 14 year olds. This will be the foundation for the future study of the role of family and church in the spiritual development of children over time,” explained Dr Powell.
Gaining feedback from churchgoers through survey results helps local churches to take suitable action in their own context, with insights from the 2016 NCLS also providing a reliable source of data for charities, mission organisations, Christian schools and Christian media.
For more information on the 2016 NCLS visit 2016ncls.org.au.