Mystery Guest Program Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know Faith Perceptions isn’t a scam?
Faith Perceptions is the church consulting division of Hendrickson Business Advisors, LLC – a management and marketing consulting firm located in Cape Girardeau, MO. We don't charge anyone to become a mystery guest - which is typical with the scams. We are a trusted member of MSPA and an A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau. We pride ourselves on our reputation and excellent service. Feel free to contact our support team if you have any concerns and we will do what we can to set your mind at ease.

Why do churches participate in your program?
Churches want to know what a guest experiences when they visit. They work with us to gain that information. The report we put together after all of the mystery guest visits shows the church their strengths in welcoming guests and where they can improve. This helps them make sure that they're treating their guests the way they want.

Should I be doing this?
Yes, if you want to. Churches sometimes use traditional business practices to make their ministry better. You're providing them with very valuable information and it's worth it for them to compensate you for your time. Even so, we have had some of our mystery guests choose to help the church without being paid.

What is my job as a mystery guest?
Attend the church service you signed up for, pick up a church bulletin while you’re there, and then complete our online survey detailing your experience. Pretty straightforward.

How do I sign up?
Click here to complete our short application. Once you’ve filled that out, you'll get an email with login information and directions for next steps. (If you didn't receive an email check your junk/spam folder to see if it ended up in there, and if you still can't find it then contact us - we are here to help!

Do I get to make my own assignments?
Yes. Once registered, you'll be able to see all of the churches we're working with. You decide which of their services you want to visit and then sign up for the service dates and times that work for your schedule.

Are there churches in my area?
If we're advertising in your area: Yes. If you saw a mention about us on a blog or other website, then maybe not. You are always welcome to apply and then we'll notify you when churches are added in your area.

I’m not a believer/don’t go to church, does that matter?
No. We are looking for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to be mystery guests. This allows us to send people of different demographic cross sections to each church.

I do regularly attend church, does that matter?
No. We are looking for people of all backgrounds to be mystery guests. However, if you are attending a church of the same denomination as our client, you will not be able to view/visit that church on behalf of Faith Perceptions. This helps eliminate bias.

Do I need to be good at using a computer to do this?
Yes. All of the work we do is via computer. We correspond with you via email and you will apply for assignments and complete your surveys online.

Can I choose any church to attend?
No. We only send mystery guests to churches who have hired us to evaluate their worship services.

How far do I have to travel for an assignment?
That is completely up to you. Since you decide which churches you want to visit, you get to decide how far you wish to drive to get there. We sometimes offer extra compensation for traveling farther to a church. This extra bonus/incentive is decided on a case-by-case basis because we try to keep the extra cost for our clients to a minimum. Please send us an email BEFORE you schedule an assignment to see if we can offer any extra compensation.

How much will I be paid for each visit?
Our standard payment is $45 for each completed assignment. There are certain exceptions for churches that have longer services and/or when extensive miles are driven for an assignment, especially in the case of a rural church location.

What do I have to do to get paid?
In order to issue payment, we need two things from you: A completed and approved survey and the bulletin from the service.

What is a bulletin?
The bulletin is a pamphlet that is handed out, usually before the service. It may contain the order of service, upcoming events, information about the church, etc. We require you to submit the bulletin from your visit as proof of attendance.

How/When will I get paid?
We process payments for mystery guests every Friday. Your check will be mailed to the address you have listed in your profile on the day the payments are processed, so make sure you notify us if your information has changed. 

Why does Faith Perceptions need my tax ID number?
Because our mystery guests are independent contractors, the IRS requires us to keep their tax ID on file. Our website is fully encrypted, so your number is safe. You will only receive a 1099 tax form after the end of the year if you have received more than $600 in compensation.

What about taxes? What does it mean to be an independent contractor?
As a mystery guest, you are an independent contractor, not employed or retained by Hendrickson Business Advisors, LLC or the Faith Perceptions program. You do not have any obligation to accept any assignments from us and you can be removed from our database at any time, either at your request or by ours.

As an independent contractor, you are not eligible for benefits and you will only be paid after each assignment is completed as required. You are not eligible for unemployment should you cease working for us. Additionally, you are responsible for keeping your own earnings record and reporting your earnings to the appropriate governing tax agencies.  Hendrickson Business Advisors does not withhold taxes for you. Keeping with IRS requirements, we will send you a 1099 Statement of Earnings ONLY IF you earn more than $600 in the calendar year. If you earn $600 or less, you will not receive a 1099 from us; however, you should still abide by state and federal income tax reporting laws.

Can I bring other people on an assignment with me?
Yes! Feel free to bring a spouse, friend, family member, or children with you on your assignment. Bringing your children can help you to better answer questions about the children's/youth ministries.

What if another adult does the visit with me - do we both get paid?
You are welcome to bring a spouse, family member, or friend with you on your visit; however, only one person will get paid for that visit.

What if I attend a church on behalf of Faith Perceptions and I like it enough to return again, is that a problem?
Not at all. And, we’d love to hear about it! You are required, however, to not tell anyone about being a mystery guest until our study is complete. You can contact us directly to find out when that will be. 

Can I use the Faith Perceptions survey for other purposes?
No. The Faith Perceptions survey is copyrighted with the Library of Congress and no portion of it may be used or duplicated without the express written permission of Faith Perceptions.