So, we are pretty sure you’ve already realised that this isn’t some dinky 10-question pop-culture survey. But just in case you missed it, this survey takes a little bit of effort to complete. And we don’t want to shy away from that. It’s about faith, spirituality, religion, and identity – the big questions – and we would love to hear your experience of these matters.
To give you an idea of what you are in for, here are some examples of the kind of questions being asked in the YourStory Survey.
The Survey is divided into two major sections.
- Section 1 invites you to reflect upon the story of your faith so far.
- Section 2 invites you to think about who and what has been a part of that story.
Many of the questions are multi-choice and, in most cases, these will require you to reflect on three different stages of your life:
- early teen; and
- the present time.
The goal here is for you to think of your faith as a journey that has made twists and turns across the different eras of your life.
Your Spiritual Experiences
This section asks about lots of different experiences that can be associated with faith, spirituality, and religion, such as:
- A general awareness of God’s presence with you
- Hearing God’s voice or being overwhelmed by a sense of God’s presence
- Having a spiritual experience of awe, wonder or inner peace while in nature
- Experiencing/Witnessing a sense of oppression or demonic opposition
- Witnessing a miracle, healing, or other event that cannot be explained by science
- Receiving special (prophetic) knowledge or insight about someone or something
- Receiving an answer to prayer…
For each item, you are asked to indicate how often you have (of have not) had this experience in each stage of your life.
You can also write a couple of sentences about a spiritual experience that stands in your memory.
Your Spiritual Practices
This section asks about the kinds of activities you might (or might not) do as an expression of your faith, such as:
- I dedicate time to read or study the Bible (on my own or with others)
- I get actively involved in social causes because of my faith
- I give money to causes, groups or individuals because of my faith
- I go to a Christian youth group (or Sunday School, Kids Club, etc)
- I like to offer practical help to others as an expression of my faith
- I have an active prayer life
- I look for ways to share my faith with others
- I meet with a personal mentor to help me grow in my faith …
Engaging with Digital and Social Media
Of course, your faith and spirituality is as much a part of your online life as it is a part of your in-person life. We ask questions like:
- How often do you use certain apps, social media or other digital platforms to access material related to your faith?
- What positive and/or negative role does digital and social media play in your spiritual life (if any)?
- How would you describe the relationship between digital or social media and your faith?
Your Faith Story
This section is a bit different. It invites you to write an open-ended response to questions that explore different aspects of your faith story, such as:
- Where did it all begin?
- When did faith choices become real?
- Tell us about any challenges to your faith, such as times of doubt, questioning, opposition, or other difficulty.
- Tell us about the experiences that have had a positive influence in leading to the faith that you hold today.
- Have religious ceremonies (like Baptism, Confirmation, or even Baptism in the Holy Spirit) been a part of your faith journey?
Keep in mind that you can still answer these questions even if you don’t believe in God. Faith simply means what you put your trust in.
Your Spiritual Worldview
The last section of Part 1 is all about your ‘Spiritual Worldview’. Here you are invited to describe what you hold to be deeply true in your own.
- What do you believe about our origins? How did everything come into being? What is the relationship between the spiritual and physical realities of our world?
- Why is there so much pain, suffering and evil in the world?
- How is God responding to the pain, suffering and evil? Where is this all going? How will it all end up?
- How should humans respond to these spiritual realities?
Your Experience in a Church / Youth Ministry / Xn School / Other Program
In the second part of the survey, respondents get to select those relationships and groups that have featured in your faith story. Once selected, the survey then asks a series of questions about each one. Here are some example questions assuming you selected ‘Church / Faith Community’ as one of your groups
- Which of the following best describes the approach to faith taken by your church or faith community (Enthusiastic / Heartfelt / Religious / Ceremonial etc.)
- Select the top three spiritual priorities of your church or faith community. (Providing a safe place / Teaching the Bible / Sharing Faith with others etc.)
- What would you want your Church/Faith Community to know about its influence on your faith?
Your relationship with your Father /Mother / Friends / Mentor / Leader
Once again, you can choose which relationships you want to describe further. Here are some examples of questions related to friendships:
- Which of the following best describes the way your friends went about faith (Enthusiastic / Heartfelt / Religious / Ceremonial etc.)
- Select your Christian friends’ top three spiritual priorities. (Providing a safe place / Understanding the Bible / Sharing Faith with others etc.)
- What would you want your Christian friends to know about their influence on your faith? faith?
The survey concludes with some quick final questions about your situation as well as aspects of your personality.