Auditing Congregational Health. Exploring Members' Well-Being in the Church and Commitment to the Congregation

Karen Zwijze-Koning, H.P. de Roest

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Abstract

he field of congregational health research is missing a relational approach to the member–congregation connection. We developed and tested a questionnaire that evaluates the perception of church health factors in statements that stay close to the feelings and attitudes of the members. We applied the instrument to map feelings of well-being and commitment with 513 members of a large, Dutch, Protestant congregation. This study thus explores relational concepts, such as members feeling at home in the congregation, their turnover intention, the atmosphere within the community, and whether members feel seen and heard within the community. Seven factors emerge from the analysis, and all of them show significant empirical correlation with members’ overall satisfaction and commitment levels. The instrument also makes it possible to discern between the evaluations of sleeping members, involved members, and insiders (frequent attenders), which is a discernment that existing instruments lack.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1236
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalReligions
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2023

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