Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is the Whole Life Inventory?
The Whole Life Inventory is a standardised survey instrument for churches to assess the family health and needs of their congregation in the 5 Whole Life Pillars of Faith, Identity, Relationships, Sexuality and Values.
These pillars were identified based on aggregated findings from social research on family, marriage and parenting; global family life trends including Focus on the Family’s cumulative experience in over a dozen countries; and Focus on the Family Singapore’s local ground expertise after more than a decade.
Q2: What does the Whole Life Inventory measure?
Whole Life Inventory questions have been carefully designed to assess the five Whole Life pillars (mentioned above).
Below is a brief summary of the areas covered in the Whole Life Inventory:
- Demographic Information: Non-identifying demographic information is collected to help in comparative analyses with similar national/global surveys conducted.
E.g. Year of birth, Sex, Education, Employment status, Household income, Marital status, Parenting status
- Faith Pillar: How does the family help to develop a faith that is relevant for everyday life?
E.g. Engagement in church activities (such as church service and cell group), Personal and family faith practices (such as Bible reading and prayer), Impact of family members on spiritual development
- Identity Pillar: How does the family contribute to our sense of identity and help us discover our God-given purpose?
E.g. Individual purpose and calling, Parental involvement and church support in managing life transitions
- Relationships Pillar: What is the state of our most important relationships?
E.g. Marital satisfaction, Parent-Child connectedness, Relationships within the church, Personal needs and support in the area of family
- Sexuality Pillar: How does the family contribute to healthy sexuality? Are we dealing with sexual issues, if any? Is there adequate support for those who need it?
E.g. Experience with sexual issues (e.g. infertility, pornography, sexual activity, sexual identity), Family and church support
- Values Pillar: How are our family values shaped by Biblical worldview?
E.g. Attitudes toward social issues and morality, Knowledge of worldviews, Engagement in values-based discussions
Q3: Who is the Whole Life Inventory for?
Since the Whole Life Inventory was piloted in 2015 and subsequently launched in 2016, 37 churches representing 11 denominations have conducted the survey for their congregations. These churches range in size from 50 to over 10,000 members.
Churches may choose to implement the Whole Life Inventory church-wide, or for selected congregations or member profiles (e.g. English service only, youth only, leaders only). For a more accurate profiling of the church, churches should aim to have at least 70% of their targeted audience complete the Whole Life Inventory.
Churches conduct the Whole Life Inventory for various reasons, including:
- To assess the impact of the family on their members and on their church community
- To assess the impact of the culture on the families in their church community
- To understand the evolving family life needs of their growing congregation
- To provide objective data to inform or validate their family life ministry plans
- To inform the streamlining of discipleship processes, Christian education programmes and/or support services across the various life stages for a more comprehensive and integrated lifelong discipleship
- To address specific family life issues or concerns in the church in a more thoughtful, synergistic and sustainable way
For an example of how a local church has used the Whole Life Inventory, please click here.
Q4: How does one participate in the Whole Life Inventory?
The Whole Life Inventory is hosted as an online survey on a verified and secure platform (SurveyGizmo, which stores data on Amazon Web Services), and takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete.
The survey questions are currently written to cater to ages 13 and upwards, who have personal access to the Internet. Simple and brief explanations are provided for certain terms which may appear more “technical” or ambiguous.
Participating churches will be given a church-specific access code to access the Whole Life Inventory online, as well as communications templates (e.g. PPT slides, bulletin inserts) to brief their members on how to complete the inventory via a URL short link. To cull meaningful responses, it is suggested that the Whole Life Inventory be availed only to regular attendees of the church.
Q5: Can the Whole Life Inventory be customised or translated?
The Whole Life Inventory is currently available in English and simplified Mandarin. For language translations, please contact us at [email protected].
The Whole Life Inventory questions have been carefully designed and validated to assess the five Whole Life pillars for the church. While the Whole Life Inventory can be customised to profile select audience groups, editing existing questions, adding new questions, or modifying response options, may change the meaning and intent of the Inventory. Hence at this point in time, we are not able to accommodate such customisations to the Whole Life Inventory for any participating church.
Whole Life Inventory questions are kept consistent to allow for meta and comparative analyses. Apart from assessing the family health and needs of the participating church, the data is aggregated and analysed to contribute towards a broader and deeper understanding of the state of the family in the wider body of Christ in Singapore.
Click below to download previous Whole Life Research Briefs:
Q6: Some of the questions seem to touch on personal information or sensitive issues. How can I assure my members that their responses are anonymous and confidential?
In order to ensure data confidentiality and anonymity for all respondents, no registration of a personal account is required in order to complete the Whole Life Inventory. In other words, we do not collect any personal identifying information (i.e. name, contact number, email address). The names of the participating churches are also not stored within the data.
Our survey platform, SurveyGizmo, practises stringent employee hiring and training processes, including third-party background checks, to ensure physical and personnel security. There are also protocols and infrastructure (e.g. redundant firewalls) in place for network security, system monitoring and access control to guard against unwanted disclosure of data. As a benchmark for data security, SurveyGizmo is HIPAA-compliant (HIPAA being the United States’ federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information). Its data centre, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is “protected by several layers of security, including industry standard data-center firewalls as well as security groups with virtual private networks”.
Furthermore, access to the raw data is restricted to only the members of the Whole Life team at Focus on the Family Singapore. Only an overall report of aggregated data will be availed to each participating church, and church leaders and staff will not have access to the raw data that might allow them to trace a respondent based on their demographic details.
Q7: What kind of report will the participating church receive?
The Whole Life Inventory collects a substantial amount of data that is useful for a range of analyses. The published Whole Life Briefs (see Q5) and annual State of the Family materials availed to participants give a glimpse of the report you will receive. A sample church report can also be viewed via a face-to-face meeting. Please contact us to arrange an appointment: [email protected].
Do note that for reasons of Intellectual Property and to minimise the possibility of questions being unintentionally disclosed, the full set of questions cannot be revealed prior to the launch of the Whole Life Inventory for the participating church. As with any survey tool, respondents who are aware of the questions before taking the Whole Life Inventory may form prepared and socially desirable responses, and skew the data collected.
Additional reports can be generated for different services, congregations or demographic groups, as identified prior to the launch of the Whole Life Inventory. Additional types of analyses not included in the original report can be discussed and implemented. Such extra reports or analyses would incur additional costs and requests should be preferably discussed before the implementation of the Whole Life Inventory.
As the report is substantive and may include some technical aspects, a presentation of the findings is made to the participating church’s leadership before the written report is given to the church.