July 30, 2008, we began a reader survey among subscribers to the email version of Missions Catalyst e-Magazine. 155 readers participated. Below are the numeric result, and a sampling of the comments that were included. Of course, we continue to welcome your feedback at any time! The best way to contact us is by email.
1. I read Missions Catalyst (check only one):
a. Always 73%
b. Sometimes 25%
c. Rarely 2%
2. I find Missions Catalyst useful for (choose all that apply):
a. Inspiration 52%
b. Resources and ideas 76%
c. Information about world news 73%
d. Prayer 47%
e. Mobilization [passing on to others] 67%
It is a valuable resource to bring information to the attention of my church and to create a mission heart within the church.
It really helps to keep me more in touch with what is happening in the rest of the world. I in turn, pass that on to others.
Some are useful to pass along to the Kenyans I work alongside and they enjoy the perspective.
I am an administrative assistant in a mission agency, so I pass along items to various leadership team members.
I pass along what I read about to our mission agency’s leadership/regional directors.
I’m a missionary who subscribes to a billion different periodicals (Christian and non-). For me to read something, it really has to stand out in terms of originality; I need it to be on the cutting edge.
I am a Perspectives coordinator and use it as a barometer for what’s going on and what out ahead.
My favorite issues are the ones with the practical mobilization ideas.
It’s an easy and quick way to keep me informed about what’s happening in the world and missions.
I forward about every second or third issue to specific people.
Resources, ideas, and news.
3. I consider Missions Catalyst mailings to be (choose only one answer):
a Just right in length 92%
b. Too long 3%
c. Too short 5%
If I want to know more you usually provide a link; that is why I consider the length just perfect.
If the particular topic interests me I will read the entire entry.
I very seldom read articles; this lets me skim and read what I want.
May be more concise without compromising effective information.
Not opposed to it being longer if there is more news.
Paragraphs of individual items could be a bit shorter too.
Very readable in one sitting. Crisp, clear and succinct writing.
It’s good that they are not too long. If anyone wants further information on a specific article they can always follow the ‘Full story here’ link. That’s what I do.
I usually look at links for 1 or 2 items, and often save 1 or 2 items also.
I like the short paragraph briefings where I can click to read the entire article if I am interested. You could add a few more briefings without it being too much.
I know this is a lot of work, but could read this publication for hours.
4. I think Missions Catalyst would be better with (choose only one answer):
a. More formatting/graphics 28%
b. Less formatting/graphics 5%
c. About the same amount of formatting and graphics 66%
I am more of a reader, but do appreciate some graphics and pictures at times.
Some picture/photos would make it a bit more interesting.
Well, it will be better if it can have a better and attractive appearance. More formatting and graphics will make it to look greater than it is.
Don’t want to make more work for you, but can’t deny that this would make it more readable.
Personally, I don’t need any bells and whistles.
Graphics are nice but I don’t need it and don’t want you to add fluff. Content is what I look for.
The simplicity of the information delivery is not a hindrance, in my eyes. I don’t know how you three have the time to put this together as it is now!
It’s VERY easy to use. The click-throughs are great. I show this to other people who send out e-mail updates as the defacto standard of how to do things. Really!
I prefer text only emails like this just for speed of downloading and I often read them on my phone.
I like keeping it kinda low-tech… too many pictures make my computer go nuts.
More formatting means longer down load times…now in North American media centers where high speed is the norm no prob. Anywhere else BIG PROB… 🙂 keep it simple. Post links to graphics/video sites.
If it takes too long to load, you will lose people.
5. If Missions Catalyst News Briefs were also available as a print-ready insert for church bulletins, I would find a way to use it.
a. Yes 22%
b. No 46%
c. Unsure 32%
Note: Don’t feel you have to wait for us to set something like this up. Readers are already welcome to reprint items in their church bulletins or newsletters, but please mention the source.
If I were a pastor…YES I would use it!!! 🙂
I’m not in a position to make such a decision.
It would probably depend on the cost.
My church does all its own publications; however, it might be nice for a small group setting.
Our church will soon start a monthly bulletin and if the news briefs can be available as print-ready, it will be much easier for me to insert it as I strongly believe that it will be also useful for many believers.
I may not use it as an insert but depending upon the topic I would make copies available to the congregation.
That would be great – I have often wanted to use what I’ve read to mobilize others that I talk to, but this would be good to mobilize the whole church!
Yes. They will be printed weekly.
With the internet so available, I think that those who desire to read it can. Perhaps a highlights issue would help develop additional readers.
It’s not my decision and those who are responsible would probably not be receptive.
Probably would use it occasionally to pass out to my Perspectives class.
I’ve started a prayer campaign for world missions in my church. A weekly print insert would encourage more people to participate.
We might consider from time to time, but we highlight mostly the missions that we partner with.
6. What I like best about Missions Catalyst is…
Mission Catalyst provides gathered information and news from the church worldwide, not only one church, ministry, country or continent. It’s free, easily accessible and has focus on the great commission.
It covers events happening throughout the world, particularly amongst the unreached.
Variety of updates from around the world and through different news agencies.
Always something to think about.
It is brief and to the point – I can skim and read what interest me.
It works as a sort of network to me. Your knowledge plugs me into other resources.
It helps give me ideas, keeps my ear to the ground and gives me a larger world view.
It’s great to learn what is going on around the world for prayer and praise. I also am encouraged to hear what others are doing.
Regular source of mission info tidbits to help keep my eyes on the harvest field and aware of mission issues that affect our church mission strategy.
Creates an awareness of what is going on around the world.
It keeps me informed and helps me pray more specifically.
It gives me information about what our missionaries are going through.
It brings me news and info that otherwise I would have to spend time searching for.
Sometimes I read material that I don’t see anywhere else.
Consistency of focus.
Brief news items that inform, cause me to pray and are from a different organization from the one I work for.
Relevant info, including for children.
Often surprising and very interesting news!
I gain ideas for new mobilization events and am encouraged to see what others are doing.
The tone with which it is written – helpful, insightful, not from a know-it-all perspective
I love the ideas you come up with, how you ask for reader interaction, and just am impressed with the content.
The international missions news. Helps me know what is going on in the world and with people working in missions. I also enjoy reading the discussion/brainstorm type of articles.
Good source for news and articles for prayer. Easy to read and easy to find out more on a specific article if necessary. I like the format, it’s not too cluttered and is easy to read.
News from the planet and new resources that I can share with others.
I like that it’s brief and opens me up to learning about places and ministries I wouldn’t know about otherwise. I also like that it doesn’t have the graphics.
7. I think Missions Catalyst could be improved by…
I like it just as it is. Maybe a few more relevant graphics.
I am visual, so: more pictures.
Not sure. Of course, graphics are nice, but since I’m overseas, I appreciate the text only/quick downloading.
Making the banner less high, fewer pixels – less screen funkiness- I want to get to the content.
I’m happy with it as it is.
Including a regular section focused on reaching the unreached.
Adding more news briefs and mission mobilization articles.
Link to an archive of resources that can be accessed any time.
I wish there was a way to make our part more interactive.
I am comfortable as it is now. It supplies me with the needed information.
Maybe offer it in more than one format, say an option to download it as a pdf.
Possibly a little more information on some items or an occasional picture but don’t get too big and try to do everything.
Having critiques about mission books included.
I don’t get as much out of the book reviews. I usually skip/skim those issues because they are not as interesting to me.
Making it more “international.” I live in South Africa and often cannot get hold of the resources you refer to.
Including international events, not all of us who receive it are from the States or live in the States.
Perhaps some sort of bulletin board where people can post comments?
Better formatting, having a networking element to it.
It would also be cool if you could find more info on the news articles you send. [links to other sources, including secular ones]
Just keeping it free or low cost is a great service and you are already doing that
A classifieds feature with subscribers offering resources or requesting help with a challenge or missions mobilization effort.
More links to resources.
Maybe you could include more information about what African Americans are doing in missions.
Shorter articles to allow for more articles.
More graphics, maps, and statistics.
More practical mobilization articles and resources.
Creating a more visually pleasing look and sending shorter, more frequent e-mails.
8. I am from (choose only one answer):
a. Asia 2%
b. Europe 7%
c. North America 79%
d. South America <1%
e. Australia or New Zealand 5%
f. Other 7%
Note: Sorry, we forgot to list Africa!
9. I live in (choose only one answer):
a. Asia 8%
b. Europe 9%
c. North America 65%
d. South America 1%
e. Australia or New Zealand 5%
f. Other 6%
Note: Other data suggests we have readers in or from at least 85 countries. On the other hand, the vast majority of readers seem to be from the US. In only a dozen other countries do we know we have more than 10 subscribers. They are:
South Africa 48
United Kingdom 40
New Zealand 22
10. I also subscribe to or read:
a. Brigada Today 46%
c. Missions Frontiers 61%
d. Other missions publications 49%
e. No other missions publications 18%