Iowa Conference Landscape Survey results shared

Iowa Conference Landscape Survey results shared

April 20, 2023

Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, along with the cabinet and Bishop's Operational Team, met in February with Emily Swanson, President of Holy Cow Consulting, to hear the results of the Landscape Survey. The Landscape Survey is like a Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) for judicatory bodies like the Iowa Annual Conference, providing a snapshot of where the conference is now. It points to our culture and areas for improvement.

There was an overwhelming response, with 838 people completing the survey, including 142 elders, five deacons, 21 associate members, 96 local pastors, 54 lay people serving pastoral roles, 397 local church leaders, 95 retired clergy, and 28 conference staff. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

This survey measures satisfaction and energy like the CAT, which 130 Iowa congregations have taken. Satisfaction is a sense of wholeness, rightness, peace, or shalom. Energy is about how clear the body is on its purpose and how much effort people are willing to put into living out that purpose. The results indicate that the Iowa Annual Conference needs to build trust, clarify vision and purpose, increase participation in decision-making, and increase support for local churches. 

"I am confident the best days of the Iowa Annual Conference are ahead of us," said Bishop Kennetha Bigham Tsai. "As we focus on remembering who we are and whose we are, we can move forward with clarifying mission and vision and becoming more energized about our ministry. With God as our guide and this conference's phenomenal lay and clergy leaders working together to realize our vision, we can accomplish anything." 

Conference leadership intends to work with laity and clergy to develop strategies to address these issues and to repeat the assessment in about four years to track progress and evaluate the impact of those strategies. If you are interested in being a part of an ongoing conversation about these efforts, please email your interest to