Easily Evaluate Your Church with SWOT Analysis Questions
A SWOT analysis is simple enough to conduct in a relatively short amount of time without a deep understanding of strategy or analytics. It covers the basics to thoroughly assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in both internal and external factors that affect your church’s success. To get an overall sense of where your team needs to reevaluate and improve, here are some relevant questions to ask when conducting your SWOT analysis.
S is for Strengths
- What are we doing well as a church? These answers are likely to be obvious and simple to conceive. Think of the things your team consistently does because they work for you. However, it isn’t enough to just know what we are doing well – which leads to the next question.
- Why are these things working? Asking this question helps teach us strategies we can implement in other areas that aren’t working as well. It also serves to ensure we can keep doing what we excel at. Ignorance of that might cause us to stumble when significant growth occurs and we have no plan for sustaining it.
- Who needs to be recognized? Acknowledge those involved with the success of an effort. We are in the business of people and appreciating the people who serve us as volunteers builds relationships, which also builds accountability. Sharing the strengths of the church can also encourage staff and team members and instill confidence.
W is for Weaknesses
- Where can we grow? Identify the specifics so that it can be communicated to the appropriate teams and people involved. This is just being faithful and obedient to what we’ve been given as stewards of our God-given responsibilities.
- What are the specific causes to these problems? Identify the root of the problem and break it down. Once a weakness has been pinpointed, it comes down to gathering the data and deciding what’s important, what it affects, and what can fix it. Act with lists and steps and assign these tasks to the people involved.
- What needs to be dropped or revisited? Sometimes the cost for fixing an issue does more damage than good. Identify weak areas or systems that need to be dropped if they aren’t working because, if not, will continue to hold back the growth of the church. Pruning is necessary in our organizations in order to make room for more opportunity.
O is for Opportunities
- Where can we implement new technologies or innovative strategies? Trends are always changing in the church. These are factors to address because it will keep the church culture flowing rather than remaining stagnant. If something is stunting growth, that is when people leave because it will translate to complacency in the body of the church.
- What audiences are we serving? Church is for everyone, but every church has a particular calling to existence. This is where the mission statement needs to filter out any outgoing messaging and communication. Check to make sure that everything aligns to the mission statement to tailor to proper targeted messaging.
- Where are opportunities to evangelize for the kingdom? Church is beyond the walls that hold it on Sundays. What can we give and where can we give it? After analyzing the mission statement and the messaging, make sure that the groups being served also fit with what the church stands for. Assess for outreach opportunities, missions, and organizations to partner with.
T is for Threats
- What can be a risk to our vision? The devil is crouching like a lion ready to seek, kill, and destroy the mission of the church. There are always threats to any organization but, for the church, people’s lives can be affected. The following questions will help to hone down those potential threats.
- What hurdles do we need to overcome? A hurdle is considered a threat when it is an issue or red tape that gets in the way between where we are now and the goals we hope to achieve. Having a plan in place to get from start to finish for tasks or projects will help to counter those obstacles.
- What are the potential external threats? This can be anything that is out of the church’s control. It could be construction on the road affecting traffic to technology issues on a Sunday morning. It is important to analyze past experiences of threats as well as using the current information to prepare for oncoming threats.
The answers found in a SWOT analysis can reveal some of the deepest details of the ins and outs of each ministry area and can be used to polish strategy. Conduct these at least once a year on an executive level as well as quarterly at a campus level or teams level. A SWOT analysis can be invaluable to a church in keeping with its vision.