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End of year survey says: online not enough

Be in the WordAs the end of the first year following the Daily Lectionary neared, brief print surveys were distributed in the bulletins at Grace Lutheran Church two Sundays in October. The survey was intended to reach those using the reading plan on paper and on line, as well as those not participating in either form. Although only a handful completed the survey, the following results were helpful. (And, we thank those who did take the time to complete the survey!)

The lack of computers or not having internet access were reasons people gave in the survey for why they participated in the reading on paper or for why they did not participate at all. In keeping with a desire expressed by the survey respondents, beginning in December of 2006, booklets with the previous year's daily comments on the readings are being made available in order to remove an obstacle for those who did not participate. (And, we thank those who are helping make the booklet available with as little of an imposition as possible on our congregation's secretary.)

People also reported that a lack of time and laziness were reasons for their not participating in the reading, and they indicated that there was really nothing we could do to make them more likely to participate. While we truly cannot give you more time, we do encourage all both to make available just a few minutes every day and to try hard to stick with the daily routine. Those who have done so can tell you what a blessing the daily reading is (see here for one such account).

In the survey, those following the Daily Lectionary online indicated appreciating the answers to the questions and the summaries of the daily readings, although one respondent said the summaries were sometimes "over my head". I hope all those participating know they can tell me when something I have written, online or in the booklets, is not clear to them--I will not think less of the person making the comment, and his or her saying so will not offend me (I would be offended if someone did not tell me!). My goal obviously is to make the explanation of God's Word and the Christian faith as clear as possible, and I can better know what remains unclear if you tell me.

The survey also asked online users what changes they would like to see in the next cycle, and at least one of the answers, which I will attempt to implement right away, dealt with short summaries of books just completed. Other changes may also take place as the year goes on. A paper user requested more explanation of the daily devotions, but the new booklets should address that desire, and I am mindful that some online users may not want much more to read.

Unlike the spring 2006 survey, this one used had a higher percentage of open-ended questions, which elicited some worthwhile comments. For example, even one who was not participating indicated appreciation for the availability of the Daily Lectionary. Finally, a "paper" user put my own feelings into words by commenting, "The Daily Lectionary has been a great blessing to me."

Pastor Jayson S. Galler


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