Man, we got some great responses to the surveys we’ve done over the past couple weeks. Spout Springs has some amazingly passionate people.
First, thanks for all the positive feedback. The “things we like” responses far outnumbered the suggested “ways to improve.”
And second, since the responses were so great, I thought I’d take a little blog time and respond to a few of them.
The most common suggested improvement area was music. According to the survey, it’s too loud, too soft, too fast, too slow, needs more hymns, needs some rap music (that was me), needs more soul and needs more variety.
Finding musical balance is always a toughie, but now that I’ve finally gotten my nose out of the planning, you’re going to see Patsy and her team do some amazing things. They’ve already added about six new songs and more are coming. And if the volume in the 10:00 or 11:30 service is a little loud for you, remember that 8:30 is the softer service.
We also got some questions about missions. We don’t publicize this enough, but we give 10% of our income to missions, ranging from a monthly donation to a local ministry for hurting people (Martha's Place), to percentages we give to local, national and international missions. If you’d like the breakdown for this year, just shoot me an email. Next year's budget including the mission's breakdown will be out in a few weeks as well.
We also try to balance local and international emphases. We just finished our international push for Operation Christmas Child, and now we’ll begin our annual push to help the hurting in our community with Coats and Cans starting Sunday.
Additionally, our Connection Groups regularly help out in the community. Last Saturday, my connection group got together with another group and we spent the morning working at Cameron Boys Camp for troubled youth. Other groups regularly work in soup kitchens, shelters, and other helping-hand style ministries.
One question we always get is, why don’t we do Sunday School in addition to Connection Groups? Well, we do provide a couple groups on Sunday mornings, but one reason we don't do Sunday School is space. At the 10:00 and 11:30 services, there is literally not a free classroom in either building. Once we get the new portable building in place, the children’s ministry will immediately expand from its crowded current situation to basically fill that entire building as well. (And if you’d like to donate to help us get that building moved, we’ve had some setbacks because of the recent break-ins and could use a few thousand dollars more to get the building moved.)
(By the way, some of the questions we got are answered in our First Steps and 101 Classes, so if you haven't taken those, I'd encourage you to jump in.)
Finally, the first week we asked about service times and it looks like the current times are probably the best bet. We’ll probably only do the latter two services on December 26th, and may re-start the Saturday night service sometime in the future, but for now the three we have seem to be working.
Thanks again for the responses. In addition to what's here, we got some good ideas for improvements that you should be seeing in the not-too-distant future.
And thanks again for doing your part to make Spout Springs the amazing church it is.