The Gallup Q12 and Church Lay Leaders, Pastors and Sunday School Teachers. Conclusion

See the previous posts in this series here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The Gallup Q12 is one of the most significant and helpful studies of human behavior that has ever been conducted. I say that because it was undertaken by a trustworthy firm asking the right questions and because its reliability and validity are supported by the sheer numbers of humans studied – when all is said and done, almost 1 million.

Albert Winseman, who is Gallup’s principal consultant for faith-based organizations, has used the Q12 data to translate the concept of engagement to church leadership. Winseman’s book is Growing an Engaged Church: How to Stop “Doing Church” and Start Being the Church Again.

Based on Gallup’s study, there are 9 statements that are reflective of an engaged member of your congregation.

  • My faith is involved in every aspect of my life.
  • Because of my faith, I have meaning and purpose in my life.
  • My faith gives me inner peace.
  • I am a person who is spiritually committed.
  • I spend time in worship or prayer every day.
  • Because of my faith, I have forgiven people who have hurt me deeply.
  • My faith has called me to develop my given strengths.
  • I will take unpopular stands to defend my faith.
  • I speak words of kindness to those in need of encouragement.

After all is said and done, Winseman develops conclusions that establish three primary strategies for increasing engagement in the church – and therefore a member’s commitment.


1. Clarify the expectations of membership

Your members should know what is expected of them and they should know what to expect of your church, class or small group. There is nothing wrong with establishing a two-way approach to accountability. In fact, there is a direct relationship between accountability and commitment, although we sometimes shy away from both. Talk to members about how they can connect and share in the ministry. Help them understand their giftings and be clear about the opportunities to serve. Invite (often) and equip them to be directly involved in ministry.

2. Help members do what they do best

Members of your church or small group have to feel as if they are serving effectively, using their gifts and talents. According to Winseman: “Members who strongly agreed that they have the opportunity to do what they do best were more than 2-1/2 times more likely than the average member to be engaged (76% to 29%) and 38 times as likely to be engaged as they were to be actively disengaged (76% to 2%).”

3. Create small groups

Church members who belong to small groups are more than twice as likely to be engaged. Winseman identifies multiple types of effective groups: Study groups, talent discovery and strengths development groups, accountability groups and support groups.

While of course not nearly as important as a leader’s relationship with Christ or his/her exposition of the Biblical text, I think an understanding of the Gallup Q12 can help leaders understand how people approach their connection to our churches and groups and in that way help us lead effectively.


Growing an Engaged Church: How to Stop “Doing Church” and Start Being the Church Again

First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

12: The Elements of Great Managing

Gallup Q12 Meta Analysis

Gallup Q12 Slide Share


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