Survey says!

Photo: CP

A first at yesterday's archdiocesan convocation of the presbyterate: upon arrival, each participant was handed a folder of materials for the afternoon's program and - a remote!

During the course of the afternoon, questions with multiple choice answers were power-pointed on the walls and the several hundred present were invited to punch in their preferences on the remotes. Eight seconds later a graph appeared illustrating the break down of preferences indicated.

Maybe your diocese does this all the time but for us it was a new experience.

So, I was wondering...

Suppose the hospitality crew at the church doors hands remotes to parishioners as they enter and then after the Post Communion Prayer, there flashes on the wall a homily review:

Today's homily was scripturally based, spiritually challenging, 
and intelligently delivered.

1) Strongly agree

2) Agree

3) Neutral

4) Disagree

5) Strongly disagree

6) I was reading the parish bulletin

And in 8 seconds, the homilist and assembly can look up and see:

Today's homily was scripturally based, spiritually challenging, 
and intelligently delivered.

1) Strongly agree: 33%

2) Agree: 16%

3) Neutral: 8%

4) Disagree: 21%

5) Strongly disagree: 19%

6) I was reading the parish bulletin: 3%

Could make for some interesting exchanges, grateful handshakes or cold stares as the faithful say goodbye to the homilist at the church door!

Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments 


  1. I imagining this in my intro chem lecture course. Oh my!

    Now I'm imaging this the next time they vote for Pope...

  2. A big yes to using social media wisely and well to enhance church at all levels!

  3. A provocative thought indeed...

  4. This was originally designed by a University lecturer in a large lecture theatre and was used to try and keep the students awake by asking them questions to check their understanding of the material at periodic intervals.
    So you can see the potential flip side of its uses for your homilies :-))

    It has now spawned many versions. I can see how your projected use of it might give you useful feedback..... but these things tend to bring out the worst in human nature as it won't be long before people will demand more questions to be added to the repertoire too and then it can end up as a pharisaical performance management tool for appraisal.

    Getting good spiritual marks, keeping to the letter of the law and not the spirit was everything that Jesus railed against- the outer vessel being shiny and clean whilst the inner vessel is rotting at the core.
    That's the trouble with these things - what starts out as a potentially benevolent device has subtle and inherent dangers.

    When Jesus said
    Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? can be applied to this type of thing too.
    Measuring the spiritual experience by micromanaging subjective responses is not what it is about for me.
    Another thought is that Jesus would have scored 100% positive on these devices but still ended up being crucified.

  5. Few indeed are the preachers who even seek much less welcome feedback. I suspect as many preachers hear an honest answer about their preaching as often as husbands truthfully answer the question "Does this make me look fat?"

  6. We use the same device to ascertain like or dislike of our town hall meetings - aimed at increasing attendance.

    Mass is not about making us feel good, enjoy ourselves etc. And I have seen parishes deviate from norm and adopt practices in attempts to draw larger crowds. Recommend you survey your parishioners' knowledge and meaning of the Mass - and ask them to bring the surveys with them to the next Mass for discussion.

    We all know your homilies are superb!


  7. Please know, everyone, that this is not something I'm seriously considering nor is it something I'd seriously endorse - but the thought did cross my mind!


Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!