Providence Baptist Church created a survey and invited any and all persons connected with the church to complete the survey. Thirty (30) persons did so, including people who regularly gather in the sanctuary, some who are homebound, and still others who join in on the Sunday broadcast. Thank you for your participation. Some of the responses, just as those that include personal, private, or pastoral content, have been deleted from this report.  On Sunday evening, May 21, 20 persons gathered for our Joyful Assembly ’23 to discuss many of the items on the survey, with attention especially on “joining the church,” selling the sanctuary building, security, and congregational identity.

“Mark some ways you are connected to or engaged with or through Providence Church”

I regularly open and read the church newsletter     20 (66.7%)
When not in the sanctuary, I try to watch the broadcast   18  (60.0%)
I watch the broadcast and do not attend in person      7  (23.3%)
I support and sometimes volunteer for Worship Meal    11  (36.7%)
I support the church with my offerings    18   (60.0%)
I pray for the congregation and her ministries   27   (90.0%)
I try to attend some of the special events   18   (60.0%)
I try to attend in person when I am able  19  (63.3%)

“How long have you been connected in some way to Providence? By “connection” we mean: are you a member? do you receive the newsletter? are you an attender? do you watch the broadcast? do you attend the Worship Meal? or other such things?”

0-1 years     4   (13.3%)
1-5 years      9   (30.0%)
5-10 years    2   (6.7%)
10-20 years   10  (33.3%)
From the beginning    4   (13.3%)

“Are you currently a member of Providence? Check all that apply.”

Yes, and I attend fairly regularly   12  (40.0%)
No, but I attend often    6   (20.0%)
Yes, but I rarely or never attend   1   (3.3%)
Yes, but I live out of town   1   (3.3%)
Yes, but I am active with another church or ministry  2 (6.7%)
Yes, and I watch the broadcast of the service  3  (10.0%)
No, but I would like to become a member.   0  (0.0%)
No, and I am not interested in membership   5   (16.7%)

“For those who watch the broadcast: Thank you for being a part of our Christian community. In the space below, tell us the state where you live and how often you watch. Feel free to write to our ministers any message you wish. Make sure you include your name in your message. Complete as much of the rest of the survey as you would like. ”

“NC We watch almost every week ”
“I live in FL and I watch the services almost every week. Such a blessing to me.”
“I watch after the fact when I do not attend. ”
“I live in Hendersonville NC and watch the broadcast every week.”
“North Carolina regularly”

“Are there some ways you would like to be more connected to Providence?”

I want to watch the broadcast but I need some help.  2  (6.7%)
I want to attend worship on a more regular basis.  7  (23.3%)
I would like to be a part of a ministry team.    3   (10.0%)
I want to make more friends at church   8   (26.7%)
I am interested in joining a small group for Bible study, prayer, spiritual formation, etc.   5   (16.7%)
I have some ideas about the church and I will share them in a comment question below.   3   (10.0%)
I want to support the church with money and/or prayers.   12   (40.0%)
I want to join the church.  0   (0.0%)
I am content with my current level of connections.  13    (43.3%)

“I want to volunteer for one of the four existing ministry teams: Missions, Facilities, Worship Meal, or Sunday Worship.

Worship Meal Worship Meal I am always available to cook for the sick and bereaved. Sign me up for either or both the fellowship team and/or worship team. Missions

“What are some things you wish our church would do, especially things you might like to help with.

community engagement public policy “It’d be cool to be involved in Hendersonville’s Pride Festival!” “I suggest that we publicize ourselves by sharing some of the stimulating comments from our pastors and others. I am convinced that there are liberal persons in other churches and newcomers to the area who would find Providence B C appealing.” special events may help–discipleship ”

“What should we do with our church building? Another congregation in Hendersonville has inquired as to our interest in selling our sanctuary building. This has come as a complete surprise. What options should we consider? “

Appoint a committee to look into this matter  10   (33.3%)
Politely decline their interest and be happy with what we have   6   (20.0%)
Open ourselves to the possibility that a more visible, accessible, and flexible gathering space might be available.   13   (43.3%)
Hold a congregational discussion about this opportunity  11    (36.7%)
Find ways to address the perceived deficiencies in our current space  6   (20.0%)
Call the congregation to a season of prayer about this matter   12   (40.0%)
I don’t know enough about this situation to give a response   6   (20.0%)

“Is there some way Providence might minister to you?”

I would like a home visit by a pastor  0   (0.0%)
I need some counseling about a personal situation    0    (0.0%)
I need some teaching about some aspect of Christian living   0    (0.0%)
I wish to be in a small group for prayer, fellowship, and study    3    (10.0%)
I need a fresh connection with God and Jesus. Help me.   2    (6.7%)
I need friendship, community, and collegiality    11    (36.7%)

“How do you describe your spiritual life?”

I am, and have been, a practicing Christian all my life.   21   (70.0%)
I am a fairly new believer and need more coaching, teaching, and support.  2  (6.7%)
I am living a Christian life but am not attending any church or fellowship.   0  (0.0%)
I have fallen away from Christian living and I want to change.   1   (3.3%)
I have grown skeptical of the whole religion/church thing   2   (6.7%)
I don’t know what I am or what I need  4   (13.3%)
I’m tired of the same old church stuff and want to explore new ways for enriching my spiritual life.  3   (10.0%)
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!  5   (16.7%)
Other   3   (10.0%)

“Concerning our worship services …”

I would like to sing with the ensemble to lead music for worship   5   (16.7%)
I am willing to help lead worship (scripture, prayer, announcements, etc)   10   (33.3%)
I am willing to learn to manage our new broadcasting system   5   (16.7%)
I am willing to be a greeter at the front door   4     (13.3%)
I am willing to help decorate the church for worship  5   (16.7%)
I generally watch the worship through the broadcast, so I appreciate everybody who helps make it happen.  7  (23.3%)
I am eager to find more creative ways to enrich our Sunday morning worship services.   9   (30.0%)
I am not into Sunday worship any more but I am looking for other ways to nourish my Christian faith and practice.   0  (0.0%)

“Something I would like to learn more about is …. ”

Prayer, contemplation and meditation   10   (33.3%)
Reconciliation and forgiveness (giving and receiving)   7    (23.3%)
Other religions, like Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, etc.   6   (20.0%)
Other Christian traditions, such as Roman Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Orthodoxy   6    (20.0%)
The Bible, it’s history and interpretation    13    (43.3%)
How to be a joyful, hopeful Christian    7    (23.3%)
Christianity throughout history and around the world    9    (30.0%)
Christian practices for marriage, home and family   0   (0.0%)
Personality types and the spiritual life.   7    (23.3%)
Public issues: environment, diversity, justice, economics, race, education, freedom, and such.   15    (50.0%)

“Throughout the survey are places you might have responded where more details would be helpful and you may want to elaborate. If you want to write about needs, ways you might consider being involved, things you want to learn more about, etc, please write those here. Include your name. ”

“Concerning the question about our church building…I think we should keep our two buildings. Allowing another congregation to join with us or to use our facility part time would be something to consider. I have not attended church services regularly since Covid began. We have tried to stay out of crowds and close group situations. I have heart disease and chronic kidney disease which puts me at a higher risk of complications. I did get covid in December, three days after I helped serve the Moravian Lovefest at church Christmas Eve. I was pretty sick for two weeks, extremely tired for well over a month and have had long term issues stemming from covid. Jane Gurley Hansel”
“Worship Meal”
“I am happy to cook something every now and then for Sundays after church. I know we don’t make it in the door for the service every week or even that often but I try to watch and I love the church. I think learning about others is important to be accepting.”
“Has the church considered sharing space with the other congregation and seeking joint opportunities for fellowship and ministry? That was not one of the options listed above.”