Last year, we conducted a church-wide survey, called Refresh, asking you to give us the scoop on your experience at Suncreek.  Since then we’ve pulled together teams to explore new ideas from the survey  – over 50 of you have been involved in the process. 

August through September 2015, we’ll sprint through eight weeks of focus on three key ministry areas – Music, Missions and Welcoming – to lead us into our stewardship season.  Get ready to think about new ways that you and your family and friends can Praise, Nurture and Serve at Suncreek. 

Refresh – It starts with you!


Why did we send out the surveys, and what does “Refresh” mean?

The purpose of sending out the surveys was to gather information about how the congregation and community experience Suncreek, and to identify areas of strength for us to build on and areas where we can improve.  We called the survey “Refresh” because it feels like an opportunity to “hit the pause button” and get feedback from our church to inform the effectiveness of our ministries within the congregation and community.

How many Suncreekers participated in the survey?

The survey was live beginning June 21st and was available for a couple of weeks.  During that time, 447 Suncreekers completed the survey.  54% of those are between the ages of 33 and 53 years old. 

The participation in our community survey was 27, which is comparatively low – and it’s the first time we’ve asked members to reach out to their neighbors in this way.

What can you do?

Join the Hospitality Team
Help make visitors feel welcome to Suncreek by introducing yourself to visitors, greeting at the doors or manning the Information Booth. Contact Jeff at .

Sing for a Season 
Take a test drive and sing with one of the Suncreek choirs for 2 or 3 months. Contact Phillip at .

Serve Through Missions 
Suncreek always has numerous ways you can help share the love of Christ. Visit our 
Missions pages or contact Janet at .


What are the headline results of the survey? (shown as average ratings or percentages)

Would you recommend Suncreek UMC to family and friends?

  • Yes (86.28%)

Lifetime Faith Participation (scale of 1-5):          

  • Most Suncreek participants have a lifetime of religious experience (average rating of 4)

Top Spiritual Disciplines (scale of 1-3): 

  • Being part of a Community (average rating of 2.71)
  • Service to others (2.65)
  • Prayer and Meditation (2.56)
  • Singing or Music (2.45)


For me, Suncreek is…     (scale of 1-5)                     

  • A place where people can find meaning and purpose (average rating of 4.13)
  • Able to clearly articulate strong biblical beliefs and values (3.92)
  • A “moral beacon” in our community (3.84)
  • A place where my ideas and contributions are welcomed (3.82)

I agree and am glad that the following are true at Suncreek… (percentage of “strongly agree”)

  • The music in worship enables me to worship God (53.98%)
  • The church cares about its members (40.96%)
  • I know that my financial contribution is important (37.83%)
  • The teaching helps me grow in my faith (30.36%)


If I were looking for programs that would appeal to me or my family… (percentage)     

  • Community service (43.21%)
  • Bible discussion and prayer groups (42.66%)
    • Youth social programs (37.23%)
    • Adult theological discussions (21.20%)

These are areas of concern for me and my neighbors…(percentage)

  • Dealing with stress (63.04%)
  • Dealing with teen/child challenges (47.55%)
  • Developing/achieving fulfilling relationships (38.32%)
  • Finding/providing spiritual teaching (36.96%)

There were places in the survey for additional comments – what did those tell us?

Here are some of the themes that bubbled up in the comments sections:

  • Strong appreciation for our children and youth programs; missions and outreach; and music ministry.
  • Lots of interest in opportunities to connect socially and in small groups.  Topics range from Marriage and Family through Spiritual Growth to Team Sports for adults.
  • Focus needed to grow a young adult ministry.
  • A facilities upgrade for our children and youth, both classroom and multi-purpose sports/gathering facility.
  • Concern about Suncreek finding stability and direction because of leadership changes.
  • Opportunity to balance out clergy team with a dynamic, young associate.
  • Longing for a sense of re-connection and inspiration for our church.

What else did we get from Best Start besides the survey?

Best Start brought us some tools to help us better understand our congregation and community.  With MissionInsite, we’ve learned that six demographic groups represent 85% of our congregation, but only 48% of our community. 

36% of Suncreekers are in a demographic group called “Kids and Cabernet” which is described as prosperous, middle-aged married couples with children living child-focused lives in affluent suburbs.

22% belong to “Generational Soup”, described as affluent couples and multi-generational families living a wide range of lifestyles in suburbia.

For a deeper dive into MissionInsite, CLICK HERE (Word doc download) 

Best Start introduced us to another tool, StrengthsFinder, which is an assessment that uncovers your gifts or talents.  Strengths range from “Communication” and “Empathy” through “Analytical” and “Focus” to “Activator” and “Strategic”.  StrengthsFinder also identifies Strength Themes that make up great leadership teams.  Suncreek staff and the Best Start task force took the assessment and we discovered that we have some opportunities to balance out our strengths.  As we move forward, we’d like to explore using this tool to align our programs and ministries to the natural talents of our staff and lay leadership.

To find out more about StrengthsFinder, CLICK HERE (Word doc download)

Under the direction of Best Start, we also facilitated several “listening conversations” or focus groups to create conversations about where Suncreek is right now, and imagine future possibilities.  The output of these small group sessions mirrored the survey results.

To read more about the listening conversations, CLICK HERE (Word doc download)

So, what happens now?

These surveys were the first step in an ongoing journey for Suncreek to listen deeply to the needs of our church and community and align those to the programs and ministries we support.  That’s not a quick fix, or an action plan for the next three months.  It’s an orientation that feeds Suncreek’s vision.

Our next step is to work with staff and lay leadership to use the survey’s results and inform/“refresh” the objectives and priorities of each area of ministry. 

Surveys and small group conversations are a great way for us to take the pulse of our congregation and check in on how we’re doing and where we need to make improvements.  Stay tuned for more opportunities to provide input and participate in this conversation as it evolves.

Got questions?

Feel free to email your comments or questions to .