The window of opportunity to participate in the 2020 Little Rock Congregations Study survey of members is closing. Now is the time to join this community-based research project and listen to your members.
What is it?
Every four years, researchers at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock survey members attending places of worship in the city of Little Rock. The project has grown since we first started in 2012 and we are now using electronic survey software, so we are able to work with as many congregations as are interested in participating. Over 50 congregation leaders have already completed the first step to participate, but the window is closing.
This fall, students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will work with local congregations to survey their members, analyze the data, and put together reports, complete with charts and quotes from members, for each congregation. You can view a sample report here. The reports will tell leaders which community issues matter most to the members of their congregation, and connect them with other congregations and nonprofits that are already working on those issues in our community. This aspect of the reports directly answers a need we heard from leaders in our 2019 Religious Leaders Summit–they wanted more opportunities to connect and work together.
This is a great opportunity to listen to your members and to connect with others in the community. All voices are needed. A diverse group of congregations and respondents will help us see a representative picture of faith and community in Little Rock.
The fall semester is starting soon and we need to finalize our list of participating congregations! Additionally, as we have spoken with clergy in the community, we have heard that now is a particularly important time to listen to members–social distance, community connection, and racial division are just a few topics on the survey that it can be especially helpful to hear from members about.
If you want to be a part of this research, have an opportunity to listen to your members, and receive one of these reports specific to your congregation, reach out to the Little Rock Congregations Study Project Director, Dr. Rebecca Glazier, today, at email@example.com.
Will this project really help the community?
More than a dozen community and religious leaders have spoken out in support of the project, including the Mayor of Little Rock and the Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. You can read their statements of support here: https://research.ualr.edu/lrcs/2020/05/27/religious-and-community-leaders-share-words-of-support-for-the-little-rock-congregations-study/.
All of our research findings are publicly available and on our website: https://research.ualr.edu/lrcs/results/. We do not charge congregations to participate in the research or receive reports. Our project goals are:
- To improve our understanding of the impacts of faith-based community engagement
- To get students out of the classroom and into the community to learn and give back
- To provide relevant and meaningful findings to the community
How helpful the research is depends on what the congregations decide to do with the results. We are professors and students providing information and connections. The real work of change and service is done by members, volunteers, and congregations on the ground. We profile many of these great organizations in community spotlights on our website: https://research.ualr.edu/lrcs/category/highlights/.