Why should we take the CRA? How is the CRA going to help my church or pastor?
What does the CRA measure?
There are other church assessments, why should we choose the CRA?
Is the CRA a valid and reliable assessment tool?
Is this a test? Are there “right answers”?
Who should participate in the CRA?
How should we give the CRA?
How much time will this require?
Do we have to give the CRA on a Sunday morning service?
Who will see our answers? What will CHR do with the information?
Will the CRA tell my church what to do?
When should we conduct the survey?
How can we fit it in our worship service?
What will we get when we participate?
What do we get with the CRA report? What will the results look like?
What is the church’s responsibility to help make the CRA experience successful?
What is CHR’s responsibility to help make the CRA experience successful?
What size church is ideal to take the CRA?
Can we add a few unique questions to the assessment?
What is the current cost for the CRA?
Is the CRA available in any other languages besides English?
We want our church to take the CRA: What’s our next step?
What do pastors say about the CRA?

Why should we take the CRA? How is the CRA going to help my church or pastor?

  1. The CRA is designed to help your church answer the question: How do we know that the teaching, preaching, and training we offer is making a meaningful difference in the lives of our people?
    • In terms of your congregation, the CRA will give you a “thumbprint” of your church, where they are spiritually, emotionally and relationally, if they are growing, and where they are growing.
    • Identifies both actual spiritual, and emotional and relational needs within the church and not just the “felt” or “perceived” need.
    • Provides a system for assessing programs and evaluating progress toward meeting goals.
    • Assess strengths and growth areas—what is and isn’t working.
    • The results can replace hunches, guesswork, and wishful thinking with objective information.
    • Assures members that the church’s leaders want to know their opinions; it gives them an opportunity to convey their opinions and concerns. This usually also brings an added responsibility: Members expect their leaders to respond to their opinions and concerns, not just “sit on” the results.
    • Involves the laity in the decision process and workings of the church. Once people become involved, they are likelier to participate in other ways.
    • Provides an early warning system by identifying new problems at the formulation stage.
    • Points out differences of opinion within the congregation that need to be reconciled.
    • Notes positive trends upon which the church can build and expand
  2. Helps compare local congregations with regional and national trends.

What does the CRA measure?

The challenge for any assessment is how to measure what you are trying to measure. In our case, we are trying to measure what difference Christ is making in our lives . To answer this question, we have based the CRA on the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love others as you love yourself (paraphrase of Mark 12:29 -31). Therefore, we break the CRA into three major sections based on the greatest commandment: Relationship with God, Relationship with Self and Relationship with Others. Thus, the CRA contains the following four main sections:

    1. Demographics
      • Worshiper Demographics
      • Church Demographics
      • Worshiper Satisfaction with the Church
    2. Relationship with God
      • Spiritual maturity
      • Spiritual behaviors
    3. Relationship with Self
      • Emotional self-awareness & self-worth
      • Emotional responsibility
      • Anger management
    4. Relationship with Others
      • Empathy & Listening
      • Conflict management
      • Forgiveness
      • Marital Relationship
      • Family Relationship

There are other church assessments, why should we choose the CRA?

There are some great church assessments available, FamilyLife’s Family Needs Survey , Dr. Diana Garland and the Center for Families and Community Ministries’ Church Census , the U.S. Congregations’ U.S. Congregational Life Survey , to name a few. The CRA is unique in four distinct ways:

  1. The CRA is designed to help your church answer the question: How do we know that the teaching, preaching, and training we offer is making a meaningful difference in the lives of our people?
  2. The CRA will give you a “thumbprint” of your church, where worshipers are spiritually, emotionally and relationally (the greatest commandment), if they are growing, and where they are growing.
  3. The CRA identifies both actual spiritual, and emotional and relational needs within the church and not just the “felt” or “perceived” needs.
  4. The CRA will help you understand the emotional intelligence of the church. We have been conditioned to believe that IQ is the best measure of human potential. In the past 10 years, however, researchers have found that this isn’t necessarily the case—that in actuality, your emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) might be a greater predictor of success. Emotional intelligence describes a person’s ability to understand his or her own emotions and the emotions of others and to act appropriately based on this understanding.

Is the CRA a valid and reliable assessment tool?

  1. The CRA is the result of over fifteen years of research and development at John Brown University and Denver Seminary. For the CRA to be of any value it must have reliability and validity. Reliability indicates whether the attribute measured by the test—whatever it is—is being assessed in a consistent, precise way. Whether the test is actually assessing what it was designed to measure is addressed by an analysis of the test’s validity. The CRA has good reliability (.800+ alpha) in that it provides dependable and consistent results.
  2. On the other hand, validity refers to a test’s accuracy—it measures what it is intended to measure. Evidence for validity comes from showing the association between a test and other variables over time. At this point, the CRA has good Face Validity (whether or not a test “looks like” it measures what it is intended to measure) and Content Validity (experts agree that test items are an adequate and representative sample of the target domain). We are currently testing the CRA for Construct Validity and Predictive Validity and should have results in the spring of 2007.

Is this a test? Are there “right answers”?

  1. There is no right or wrong answers. The CRA is not a test. Instead, it’s an enrichment experience. Merely taking the CRA people are enriched as they reflect on and respond to the questions. It’s important that people reflect on things that you preach about week in and week out. How do these messages translate into real life, into how they handle their emotions, and how they forgive, and how they deal with conflict, how they do friendships, marriage and family? There is tremendous power in thinking about what Christ has done, who God’s called me to be, and what I hear every Sunday in comparison to what is actually being applied in my life.
  2. Second, you can use this assessment to help your people turn knowledge into action through follow-up messages and programming. Such awareness raises awareness that can begin the process of behavioral and attitudinal change.

Who should participate in the CRA?

  1. The CRA is given to all adult (18+ years of age) members and attendees, both married and single.
  2. High school age (15-17 years) can complete survey but will not be factored in the report.
  3. We highly encourage you to have activities scheduled for younger children the day of the assessment.

How should we give the CRA?

The CRA is designed to be given during a Sunday morning service to maximize the validity and effectiveness of the assessment. Giving the CRA in worship is an efficient way to take a snapshot of your congregation including regular worshipers, those who come less often, and visitors. If your congregation has more than one weekly service, the survey should be given in each.

How much time will this require?

Most worshipers complete the CRA in 30 minutes. Each question is in a quick response format so that worshipers do not write out their answers. We suggest setting aside about 40 minutes to allow time for explanation and for distributing and collecting the assessments.

Do we have to give the CRA on a Sunday morning service?

Although a Sunday morning service is the most ideal time we can discuss alternative options to administer the CRA.

Who will see our answers? What will CHR do with the information?

Your answers are completely confidential; unless you choose to share your results with others, no one outside your congregation will see your worshiper’s answers. You’ll send your surveys directly back to CHR. We’ll use an identification number to help us keep track of your congregation’s responses, but individual answers are all confidential — in fact, we ask worshipers not to put their names on the survey. We’ll combine the responses of all of your worshipers and provide summary reports telling you what they said.

Will the CRA tell my church what to do?

  1. The CRA is descriptive, not prescriptive.
  2. Your church decides action steps by matching the results with your ministry goals.
  3. You also have access to a Center for Relationship Enrichment consultant for guidance in applying results.

When should we conduct the survey?

  1. It’s your decision. Select the week that is most convenient for your congregation. It’s best to pick a week that is typical. Giving the survey on a holiday weekend, for example, wouldn’t give you an accurate portrait if more visitors than normal attend or if many of your frequent attendees are away. Once you’ve selected your date, be sure to order surveys at least four weeks in advance.
  2. Some other guidelines include, if you have not surveyed your church in the past year or two, if your membership is significantly increasing/decreasing, if you have had a change in leadership, or if you are a new church.

How can we fit it in our worship service?

Congregations have found a variety of ways to give the survey in worship. Many have found that it works well to set aside the last 40 minutes of each scheduled worship service to distribute the survey. Then, worshipers can leave when they have finished. Our experience shows that if you let worshipers take the surveys home with them, few will return them. To make sure your portrait is accurate, it’s essential to give the survey during worship.

What will we get when we participate?

The CRA is an 8 ½ x 11 scannable form of 178 questions to be answered by the adult members of the congregation. The forms are typically distributed after a shortened message at the beginning of the service and take approximately 30 minutes to fill out. Once the congregation has completed the confidential surveys, the forms are returned to CHR for analysis. The data from the assessment is compiled into a 20-25 page report with charts and detailed explanations. The completed report is presented to your church leadership team in a two-hour consultation [Link to the consultation link] . This report highlights your church’s strengths and outlines purposeful and practical strategies to address potential growth areas.

What do we get with the CRA report? What will the results look like?

The comprehensive 20-25 page report of your assessment results includes:

  • Multi-color Graphs (e.g., pie charts & bar graphs)
  • Easy to read Tables that describe graphs
  • Demographic data
  • Strengths and growth areas
  • Data on how satisfied people are with specific aspects of your church
  • Spiritual health and spiritual activity data
  • Emotional intelligence of your congregation
  • Relational health of your worshipers
  • Comparison of your church to a national database
  • A report on the marital and parental health of your congregation

What is the church’s responsibility to help make the CRA experience successful?

  1. Choose date from available CHR dates.
  2. Send $500 non-refundable deposit
  3. Prior to administering the CRA in your church we would ask you read the first four to five chapters of the book the Emotionally Healthy Church by Peter Scazzaro and sharing it with your leadership team and fill out the Ministry Needs Survey and return it to CHR.
  4. Provide CHR with an accurate count of assessments needed for Sunday morning.
  5. Begin promoting the CRA four weeks prior to the assessment date.
    1. Bulletin inserts three-four weeks ahead
    2. Relationship sermon one week prior to the assessment date
    3. Make announcement in the church newsletter, adult Sunday School classes, etc.
      • On the day of the assessment, allow at least 30 minutes for worshipers to complete the CRA.
      • Have #2 pencils for congregation to use to complete the CRA
      • Have music played in the sanctuary as people complete the CRA
      • Have activities for children and younger teens (those younger than the 18 yrs) so the adults can complete the CRA without distractions
      • Announce the instructions from the pulpit to ensure proper completion of the CRA.
      • Return the completed CRA assessments to CHR (at church’s own expense).
      • Choose a date and determine who will participate in the consultation 4-6 weeks after the CRA.
      • Share report with leadership and congregation

What is CHR’s responsibility to help make the CRA experience successful?

  1. Provide Church with enough assessments to survey all of their Sunday (Saturday Evening if applicable) morning worshipers to arrive at least a week prior to assessment date.
  2. Develop time frame for entire project and provide Church with promotional information to use at their discretion.
  3. Provide Church with sample sermons to be used the week prior to the assessment and on assessment Sunday.
  4. Provide Church with assessment instructions to be read prior to the worshipers taking the CRA.
  5. 4-6 weeks after CHR receives the completed CRA assessments, provide Church with a 15-20 page comprehensive report and recommendations during a two hour phone consultation.

What size church is ideal to take the CRA?

It doesn’t matter what size congregation you have. We have given the CRA to churches of 50 people on up to several thousand.

Can we add a few unique questions to the assessment?

We do have the ability to add 2-3 unique questions that your church would like to see answered. It is up to the church to supply CHR six weeks ahead with the questions to be added.

What is the current cost for the CRA?

  1. Set-Up & Consultation Fee $950
  2. Assessment cost $1.50 per survey ordered
    *Price is subject to change

For example, a church of 250 would pay a total of $1,325.

Is the CRA available in any other languages besides English?

At this time, we only can offer the CRA in English.

We want our church to take the CRA: What’s our next step?

Contact The Center for Healthy Relationships at John Brown University at 1-479-524-7350 or email CHR@jbu.edu

What do pastors say about the CRA?

“The Center for Healthy Relationships has developed a one-of-a-kind Church Relationships Assessment. The results of the CRA can identify strengths, potential growth areas, and assist you as you equip leaders and parishioners to increase their effectiveness in building a healthy church, both emotionally and relationally. If you’re a pastor you need a scorecard to help you maximize your effort. With the help of the CRA you will have in your hands an invaluable ministry tool.”

H.B. London, Jr.
Vice President
Church & Clergy
Focus on the Family