Wow. I cannot thank you readers sufficiently for the incredible survey responses you gave me. I have read every one of them. I literally printed all of the responses, and now have a huge stack of paper on my desk.
Not only did I read them, I truly listened to you. As a result, I will likely make some modifications to the blog in the future.
Here is what I am doing for now. We will extend for one more week the contest for the $250 LifeWay gift card and three signed copies of Autopsy of a Deceased Church, plus ten runner-up prizes of a signed copy of Autopsy. If you entered last week by doing the survey, you can have your name eligible for the drawing twice by sending me an email. I’ll share more information on how to submit your e-mail at the end of this article. If you did not send a survey, you can still enter the contest this week by responding to my email request.
Okay, here are some of the results of the survey. Here is what you told me.
Who Are My Readers?
- You represent diverse age groups. The largest single group is represented by the Millennials. They account for 29% of my readers.
- The readers are primarily males (86%). I have to do better in my writings to get more female readers.
- You come from a variety of different communities: rural, urban, suburban, small town, and medium-size town. Rural residents represent one out of five of the readers.
- I was surprised to see the variety of your vocations. You are pastors, church staff, and a variety of lay positions. You are physicians, attorneys, blue-collar workers, policemen, firemen, and many more.
- Though the majority of the readers are from my denomination, it is only a slight majority. More than four out of ten of you are not Southern Baptists. My annual readership is about 4.75 million page views, so that means about 2 million views are from those other than my denomination.
- You come from churches whose worship attendance almost mirrors the national average. That means 55% of you are in churches with a worship attendance of 200 and under. And 27 percent of you are from churches with a worship attendance of 400 and above.
What Don’t You Like About My Blog?
- “You are too technical. Lighten up.”
- “Your hair looks like a helmet.”
- “You write too much from a Baptist perspective.”
- “You need to offer your opinion more, rather than just giving a lot of statistics.”
- “Too many numbered steps. Not everything has to be a list.”
- “You write too much from an American perspective.”
- “Your mom spelled ‘Thom’ wrong.”
What Do You Like about My Blog?
- “It is very practical.”
- “Your love of pastors and local churches.”
- “Your concise and plain writing style.”
- “You stay on top of trends church leaders need to know.”
- “Your willingness to let your critics comment without you being defensive.”
- “There are times I would swear you were writing about my church.”
- “Biblically based and highly applicable.”
What About the Length and the Frequency of the Blog Posts?
- 80% of you like the length of my posts. 19% of you would like to see them longer.
- 70% of you like the frequency of my posts. 26% of you would like me to post more frequently.
What Would You Like to Talk with Me About over a Cup of Coffee?
Those responses were absolutely incredible. One thing I know for sure is that you are really interested in your churches becoming healthier. You expressed that concern in a number of ways. You also surprised me by the number of comments expressing a desire to know me better personally. Listen to this comment:
“Thom seems extraordinarily intentional about his words. They are sometimes sanitized. That can be good, but I’ve never once gotten a behind-the scenes, raw, authentic perspective of who he really is. I appreciate his empathy toward pastors, but I’d like to knows some things beyond words that will help me connect better.”
You readers have really helped me. Thank you. I was encouraged by so much of what you said. And, yes, even the critical comments were helpful.
A Concluding Word (For Now) and This Week’s Contest
This survey has confirmed my feelings that I need to offer video content from time to time. In fact, many of you would like me to speak in a conference type way through my blog.
So here is my question:
If I delivered a video conference to you as a ministry on this blog, what would be your choice of topics?
Email your ideas to Jonathan and you will be entered in this week’s contest.
You have spoken.
I have listened.