Survey Says

I've been mentioning how we recently conducted a survey of our congregation regarding their thoughts, desires and expectations of the music portion of Gospel Light's worship experience. A lot of worship leaders expressed interest in the results, so I thought I's share a little.


The survey was simple enough, divided into some closed-ended questions and some open-ended questions:

What style(s) of worship music do you like (Check all that apply)

  • Piano/Organ/Acoustic style soft music

  • Guitar-oriented contemporary

  • Hymns

  • Traditional Gospel-style

Which of the above do you prefer?

Do you prefer:

  • A lot of new, fresh, different songs?

  • A lot of familiar, well-known, comfortable songs?

How often do you listen to worship/Christian music outside of church?

  • I only listen to worship/Christian music

  • Most of what I listen to

  • I hardly ever listen to worship/Christian music

Which Christian artists do you listen to? (List as many as you like)

How do you worship personally?

Who is your favorite Christian artist?

What song(s) that we sing on Sunday really engage you in worship?

Is there a song(s) that you would like to hear used on Sundays?

Is there a recommendation you could make to the worship team?

This survey was distributed over a two-Sunday period, and we allowed three weeks for collection. We got enough surveys to account for about a third of our regular attenders, which is a pretty good statistical sample. (One caveat: my degree in marketing tells me that the most likely people to fill out a voluntary survey are those who are unsatisfied or desiring change. My experience in business back this up.)


I'll split this up into two posts, but I'll get to the nitty-gritty today. Regarding those who indicated one or more (but not all) styles of worship, the results looked like this:

  • Piano/Organ/Acoustic - 29%

  • Guitar-oriented contemporary - 29%

  • Hymns - 10%

  • Gospel - 31%

For those who specified one type they preferred as a favorite:

  • Acoustic guitar - 5%

  • Soft piano/organ - 21%

  • Guitar-oriented contemportary - 26%

  • Hymns - 16%

  • Gospel - 31%

This is good news, because it largely reflects our own music mix. We've added some hymns recently to our "active" list of songs, and we've got a pretty good selection of some "Gospel-y" kinds of tunes. (although it looks like we can do more.)

I'm not seeing us as the next Nu Nation, but we do have a wonderful gospel choir called Send Judah First. Perhaps between the two groups, we can fill some more of that Gospel music need.

My next post will get into the more diagnostic questions, regarding worship habits, artists, and songs.


  1. Bravo man! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to find out what our congregation would say. For years we had piano led more traditional contemporary worship. Then I got there and switched to guitar led progressive worship for about 3 years. Now we have a female singer on acoustic doing traditional hymn/contemporary worship for the past year.
    (Please forgive the broad 'style' descriptions.)

    Did you pass out this survey only or use email or website or anything like that?
    I look forward to you digging in :)

  2. We just did this as a hand-out in church. We figured if you're there, we want to hear you.

    We try to do a mix and not stay on one style. A single service can combine rock, gospel and piano/acoustic. We're trying to find the right balance.


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