The Religious Attitudes Questionnaire
Religious Attitudes Questionnaire***
(English and Spanish Versions Available).
The Religious Attitude Questionnaire is a useful way to talk to friends and strangers about Christ. It cuts through all the foolishness in trying to steer a conversation in the direction you want it to go. The questionnaire keeps you on task.
The questionnaire consists of nine brief questions, and is designed to find out exactly what people believe about Christ Jesus, then tell them what the Bible says about him.
You can also use the results of the questionnaire to get a better idea about what the people in your community truly believe about Christ. Instead of guessing what they might believe, you’ll quickly have empirical data showing what they actually do believe.
Preparing yourself to use the questionnaire.
Next, print out a lot of copies of our free pamphlet, Our Spiritual Journey Together. The questionnaire is designed to work with the pamphlet. Make sure to include your church’s information on the back of the pamphlet; and make sure to print out a lot more pamphlets than questionnaires. (If someone isn’t willing to go through the questionnaire, you can at least give them a pamphlet.)
Determine how you want to use the questionnaire. You can go door-to-door and speak to one person at a time. You can stand in a public place (say, at a mall, a park, or a busy street corner). You can set up a table at a fair or business expo. You can probably think of other possibilities yourself.
Present the questionnaire in pairs. One person does all the talking; the other person prays that the Holy Spirit work on the person you’re talking to. Don’t interrupt one another or correct one another; save such things for after the person has left.
We find that most Americans are very interested in giving their opinion about anything, and will even wait in line to answer the questionnaire. So, the more public your locale, the more workers you’ll need. Be prepared!
Make sure you have clipboards, pencils, and pamphlets immediately ready. If people need a Bible, make sure you have free Bibles or New Testaments to give away. If they want information about your church, have that ready too. Try to anticipate any needs they might have.
Using the Questionnaire
If they say yes, go through the questionnaire. If no, offer them pamphlets.
Fill out the questionnaire for them. That way, you should be able to read the handwriting, and you will get more complete answers than you would if they filled it out themselves.
Avoid making comments about their answers. Your chance to speak will come. Right now, let them do all the talking—and listen carefully. What they say will help you understand where they’re coming from.
- Do you attend a local church, mosque, temple, or synagogue? —If so, which one?
If they don’t attend any such place, skip to question three.
- If so, how often do you attend?
Weeklysuggests a regular attendee. More often than weekly suggests an active participant. Less often than weekly suggests they aren’t really that dedicated to their place of worship.
- If so, why do you attend?
Here, they’ll discuss what it is about their place of worship or religion that’s important to them.
- Why do you think people don’t attend places of worship?
By this we really mean
Why don’t you attend places of worship?because those who don’t attend will give the usual reasons why they don’t attend.
- If you were looking for a place to worship, what kind of things would you look for?
This will help them think about what it is that’s good about worshipping together with others.
- Have you ever had a really intense spiritual experience with God?
With Godbecause just about anything counts as a spiritual experience nowadays. This will help them think about the spiritual realities that they’ve experienced.
- What do you think will happen to you when you die?
Now it’s time to deal with the ultimate spiritual reality. For many, they’ve never been asked this question. Even Christians will come up with answers that don’t sound orthodox at all.
- May I briefly share with you what the Bible says about God and the spiritual realities of life and
If yes, this is now your opportunity to talk. Go through the pamphlet with them thoroughly. If not, go on to the next question, and make sure to give them a pamphlet once they complete the questionnaire.
- Do you have any specific prayer needs that we could pray with you about today?
Sometimes they don’t. If they do, don’t save the prayer for later; pray with them right there. Remind them in your prayer that God loves and cares for them. Finish the questionnaire on a positive note.
Get Follow-up Data
Get this information especially when people have chosen to make a commitment to Christ, but also if they seem open to more information, curious about the church, or in any way positive about the questionnaire and answering it.
Get the person’s name, address, and phone number. Don’t bother with email addresses. You want to make personal contact with these people; you’re going to talk with them, not write them letters.
The rest of the data you can fill out on your own. Make comments about people’s receptivity, or any questions they might have had. Put your name and the names of any team members who were with you. Guess the person’s age and marital status; mark all appropriate boxes. If you were a member of the follow-up team, and hadn’t met this person, what information would you like to know?
For follow-up, see the Discipleship Follow-Up Questionnaire.
For a video introduction to the Religious Attitudes Questionnaire and using booklets for evangelism, Sharing Your Spiritual Journey with Others presents a thorough introduction, particularly in Part 12,
Intentional Outreach Approaches.
We’ve just finished principal photography for Be His Witness, a video seminar that specifically shows you how to use the Religious Attitudes Questionnaire for outreach. We expect it to be complete in January 2007. Check back with Barnabas Missions for updates.