The CAT is a customizable assessment instrument that can help you as a leader:
- Measure the level of satisfaction and energy in the congregation you lead.
- Identify the critical success factors for improving organizational climate.
- Pinpoint the strengths of your congregation’s culture.
- Discover where members would like to go in the future.
- Gauge readiness for change.
- Uncover potential resources you may be missing.
- Prepare for a search for your next pastor or priest.
But seriously, why is your assessment different from other assessments or church surveys? It’s okay, we get asked that all the time. The answer is pretty simple- we use an evidence-based discernment process. We benchmark our data, so it goes beyond just a survey, and looks at the deeper trends in your church compared to other congregations. We can tell you what 60% of your congregation agreeing or not agreeing with something means through this benchmarking. And we have a lot of data, over 6,000 congregations have taken our assessments, that’s 2,900 congregations in the last 6 years. This takes the guesswork out of your results and helps you make better decisions. Data that helps you make decisions is what we want!
What if we want to add something to our CAT? You can:
- Add up to two supplemental modules of your choosing (see CAT supplemental modules below)
- Add up to five additional or supplemental questions specific to your church
What can we do with our supplemental questions?
Supplemental questions can be pulled from modules that were not selected or can be drafted by church leadership to help answer questions about congregational needs. They can be in the form of multiple choice, checkboxes, ranking or rating, and comments or limited text responses.
We do ask that you avoid questions regarding decisions on who will be your next clergy, decisions around who you are and are not willing to hire in leadership roles, and other important specific congregational outcomes that need further discussion.
How can the clergy language reflect our current leadership?
We will modify the language of the assessment to reflect the title of your senior ordained leader. For example, “our pastor/rector,” “our interim pastor/rector,” “our former pastor/rector,” etc. We suggest using “interim pastor/rector” for interims who have been in the congregation for over 6 months and “former pastor/rector” for those pastors or rectors that have been gone for less than 4-6 months. Need more information about the clergy questions or about clergy transitions? Please check out: Clergy Questions and Transitions.
What happens at our data review (interpretation)?
For the interpretation of your CAT results we recommend you have leaders of your congregation present including your church board, mission study team, strategic planning team, search team, etc. For our suggestions on getting the most out of this time please read: Best Practices for an Interpretation
What will this cost?
It is always our goal to be transparent and clear about costs. All of the costs are outlined here: Cost of the CAT
Sample of Vital Signs Report from Congregation Assessment Tool
Informational Handouts about the CAT
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
How does the timeline for the CAT work? 8 Steps to your CAT
What modules can you pick from to customize your CAT? CAT Modules
What does the Transition Plan and Vital Leader Report Look like? Transition and Vital Leader Report Sample