Jesus Did Polls Too

May 14, 2008 by

Jesus PollLast year at MinistryCOM, it was a delight to hear Shawn Wood‘s keynote titled “Brand Schizophrenia”. Shawn is the experiences and creative communications pastor at Seacoast and a new author. And if that doesn’t win most links in an opening blog entry here on Church Marketing Sucks, I don’t know what does.

It was certainly not his main point of the day at MinistryCOM, but Shawn made a great observation about how Jesus was the first one to do a Zoomerang poll. In Matthew 16:13-16, Jesus asks his disciples what people are saying about him. He wanted to get a pulse for what everyone was thinking. “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?” The disciples replied with some of the things they had been hearing. “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah … “

Thankfully, Jesus didn’t let the polls or the pollsters have the final word. Although he cared about what people were thinking, he cared more that they were thinking rightly. The right answer, as we hear from Simon Peter, is that “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Simon obviously checked the right box on his survey.

Surveys are a great way to get feedback on things that matter to you. They’re also a great way for you to measure if the things that matter to you actually matter to the people you’re polling.

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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3 Responses to “Jesus Did Polls Too”

  • Donny
    May 14, 2008

    Of course, it goes without saying that Jesus, in fact, did NOT need to get a pulse on what people where thinking. The “poll” was for the sake of the disciples. Nuance, I know, but it’s not clear above. The point stands, though, that church leaders need a way to measure the thought patterns and maturity of the church members.

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  • The Levee
    May 14, 2008

    How would you get at thought patterns and maturity of church members through a survey? I mean, there are questions you could ask, but there’s an awful temptation for the respondent to just give the “right answer.”
    One survey technique I have found very useful is to ask for 2 or 3 words or short phrases that describe the church. When similar answers are grouped together and boiled down, you get a good snapshot at how the church sees itself.
    What might come out of that are words like “disciple” and “spiritual” and “Christ followers.” Or not, in which case there might be a problem.

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  • Jesse Phillips
    May 15, 2008

    I don’t mean to be difficult, I like your blog, but I don’t believe that Jesus was technically taking a poll.
    Like he often does, I think he was asking them the question for their benefit – who do ppl say I am, who do you say I am. I don’t think he was trying to find-out information for himself although it’s a cute idea.
    I think polling is very useful and important.

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