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Posts tagged ‘enews’


Who We Are

Survey1In the last couple of weeks of November, we did a demographic survey of our Network members.  We e-mailed our members, inviting them to take the online survey sometime over a period of two weeks.  We had a good response to the invitation.  Our response rate was 52%.

There are two reasons we did the study:

  • We are getting ready to launch a new Network strategic plan in the next couple of months (more on this later, I promise!)  and the data from this survey will help us as we work on the plan.
  • One of our hopes is to develop new organizational partnerships.  This information will help us “tell the story” of the Network to these potential partners.

We learned quite a bit.  Here’s a brief run-down.

We are a more mature organization than I expected.  Our age breakdown is:

19-24 6%
25-30 20%
31-40 24%
41-50 17%
50-65 31%
65+ 2%

Interestingly, if you lump these age groups into three categories, 19-30 (26%), 31-50 (41%) and 51+ (33%) the age breakdowns are fairly even, if skewed slightly older.  This tells me two things:  1)  We are an older, and more experienced group than I expected, and 2) The smallest of these 3 categories is our youngest group.  This is clearly a place then where we need to increase our outreach and communication efforts.


Female 63%
Male 37%

Ministry Role:
“I Serve As A:”

Volunterer 10%
Professional – Part Time 22%
Professional – Full Time 68%

Education Level:

High School Graduate 12%
College Graduate 42%
Seminary – MA 11%
Seminary – Mdiv 10%
Master’s Degree (other than seminary) 22%
Ph.D 3%

ELCA Roster Status:

Non-Rostered 68%
Pastor 21%
AIM 11%
Diaconal Minister .5%
Deaconess 0

Ethnicity & Multi-Culturalism:

Caucasion 94%
African American/Black 3%
Multi Ethnic/Multi Racial 1%
Latino/a 1%
Arab and Middle Eastern .5%
Asian/Pacific Islander .5%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0%

Ministry Setting:

Congregation 79%
Synod Staff 9%
Educational Institution 5%
Non-Congregational Youth Min 3%
Resource Provider 2%
ELCA Offices 1%
Outdoor Ministry 1%

Areas of Responsibility:

We asked the question “what are your areas of ministry responsibility?” and asked people to “check all that apply.  The percentage listed is the percentage of the total respondents (321) that replied that this was one of their responsibilities.  What we heard back was:

Youth Ministry 80%
Family Ministry 58%
Children’s Ministry 52%
Young Adult Ministry 45%
Worship Leadership 29%
Adult Education 27%

Network Resources Used in the Last Three Years:

The Extravaganza 67%
E-News 65%
Connect Journal 47%
Salary Survey 45%
3rdTuesday Conversations 41%
MartinsList 36%
Practice Discipleship Project 35%
Video Archive of Speakers 32%
Placement Page 32%
Membership Discounts 17%
List of Cong willing to host groups 12% 8%

There is a lot of information to process and analyze.  What does it teach us?  Well, we’re not sure yet.  But we’re taking a look at it.  Our sense of who we are will help to shape what we think God is calling the Network to be.  The draft of our strategic plan will be released for public comment in the next week or two.

In the meantime, if you have comments or thoughts, we’d love to hear them.  Please comment here in this blog.

Advent Blessings!


What’s Up With the Web Site?

You might notice some transitions in the Network’s web site in the next couple of weeks.  I just wanted to give you a quick update on

A sneak peek at the new membership site

what’s happening.

We are switching to a new membership management software piece that I think is going to improve your online experience.  In the past couple of years, we’ve started using several different pieces of software, all of it in the ‘cloud’, to do our work.  We’ve used Constant Contact for our email newsletter, Infusion for our web site provider and TrackVia as our database.  The database was raw, which means that we had to build it from the ground up.  As it works out then, we actually have several different lists to maintain, and the lists don’t talk to each other, which means much of the data work has to be done manually.  As we have grown, this has taken more and more time.

So we have been investigating an alternative.  We are going with Wild Apricot, which is an integrated membership management suite that includes event registration.  We have already migrated our data to the new software, and are initiating membership and renewals within that now.

Wild Apricot actually gives us a second web site, which for now we will use as a ‘membership’ site.  So we will be moving, over the next few weeks, all of the exclusive membership resources to this site.  Our general site will then become the “gateway” for general info, and members can click a link there to get to the member’s site, or will be able to go there through a dedicated URL that we will release as soon as we’re ready.

That’s probably a lot more info than you want to know.  Here’s the basics:

  • Joining and renewing will be easier with fewer steps.
  • Registering for the Extravaganza will be easier as well as much of your personal information will already be in the site and you won’t need to re-enter it.
  • You will be able to “auto renew” if you choose.
  • We hope, this fall, to introduce “multiple-year memberships” that will have a small discount.
  • Eventually, when everything is up and running, the Network will be able to cut some of these other services.

Sometimes in the next week, every Network member will receive an email giving them instructions on how to create/reset a new password for the new site. (or, you can do it right now, if you’d like!)  Unfortunately, with the new system, we will not be able to just transfer passwords from the old system to the new because of system security concerns.

So watch for more information.  We apologize if there is info that you’re looking for that you temporarily cannot access during transition.  If this is a problem for you, please e-mail me at and I’ll get you the info for which you are looking.  We will continue to update our Twitter feed and our Facebook page with progress as we move forward.   Thanks for your patience!

Networked in Christ,




Mackenzie Grondahl is completing her work as the editor of the Network’s bi-weekly e-mail newsletter, effective after the next issue. We are very, very grateful to her for all the time and energy that she has given to children, youth and family ministers through the Network.  Her important role will be picked up by Andy Moscinski, a youth minister in the Appleton, Wisconsin area.

A Network like ours, (read: highly dispersed membership and low-budget) is completely dependent on electronic communications to be able to connect with its membership and to make resources known.

Mackenzie has done a fantastic job handling our e-news, which is really the bread and butter of our communication strategy.  She has been able to handle materials from a variety of sources, manage individuals who don’t have the spiritual gift of timeliness (I’m checking the mirror here) and has done a great job going out and finding content from other sources that is really appropriate to our Network.  She has helped shape the e-news from a vehicle for announcements into a resource.  We’re all very grateful to her, and to God.


Andy “Mo” Moscinski is a youth minister at First English Lutheran Church in Appleton, Wisconsin.  He’s married to Whitney and is a graduate of Wartburg Seminary.  He has been a long-time member and participant in the Network and helps to facilitate networking throughout his region and community.

Andy will be able to be reached at

We are grateful to God for Mackenzie and all that she brings to the Network, and to Andy and his willingness to play this important role in our community!