How Pastors & Non-Christians See the Church's Role

In recent years, the role of the Church in America has undergone a series of complicated shifts. While people have always looked to churches as important community spaces, the changing needs of society have been reflected in a changing idea of what churches can and should offer. In the midst of these shifts, pastors may find themselves in a difficult spot. Today's article, an excerpt from our Resilient Pastor series in Barna Access Plus, explores how pastors, Christians and non-Christians say a church should show up in its community.

44% of U.S. Adults Are Digital Donors—Here’s What Defines Them

What makes a digital donor? Data from Meet the Digital Donor, the fourth volume in Barna’s The State of Generosity series, show nearly half of Americans (44%) prefer digital forms of giving. In this article, we’ll share two key observations about digital donors that may prove helpful for organizations, nonprofits and churches as they look toward the future of giving.

Rising Spiritual Openness in America

Barna has been tracking the state of Christianity for nearly four decades. Though the trajectory of Christian commitment in the U.S. has been on a downward slide and is in need of urgent interventions, our new data give Christian leaders cause for hope. Barna CEO David Kinnaman shares more in this new article.

Year in Review: Barna’s Top 10 Releases of 2022

To many, 2022 may have felt like a return to familiar routines and rhythms after the disruptions of 2021 and 2020. Barna continued to monitor trends and shifts in faith and culture, reporting on topics such as pastoral well-being, discipleship practices and opportunities, emerging generations, children’s ministry and generosity. This article features Barna’s most-engaged articles published over the last 12 months.

Pastors Say They Often Preach on Church Unity—Christians Disagree

What does unity really mean for Christians in today’s divided world? In the summer of 2022, Barna Group conducted a study with The Genius of One to explore Christian opinion on major faith topics, a key one being unity. In an election year and with holiday gatherings (and their related tensions) approaching, it may feel like unity is a hard thing to come by, even among Christians. This article explores recent data on both Christians’ and pastors’ perspectives of the subject.

New Research on How Veterans View & Practice Their Gifts

Veterans Day acts as an important reminder to recognize and thank former military personnel for their service to our nation. For pastors, the acknowledgment of veterans need not only happen on the Sundays surrounding this national holiday—church leaders and congregants can continue to show their care and gratitude for veterans year-round by investing in their unique gifts and abilities. This article offers a peek at some recent data—an extension of Barna's Gifted for More study—exploring the types of gifts veterans say they have and their awareness and application of these skills.

Do Church Buildings Still Matter? How U.S. Adults Feel About Spiritual Spaces

Does sitting in a church building evoke a sense of transcendence or offer moments of calm in an often-chaotic world? How might our physical experiences of a church relate to our worship and understanding of God? As many pastors struggle with how best to retain members and grow them spiritually post-pandemic, new research from Making Space for Inspiration suggests opportunities for leaders to connect with current and new congregants, starting with a more intentional approach to the places they meet.

Does a Divided Public Look to Pastors for Guidance?

Who do Americans believe is responsible for creating meaningful change in our country? Recent Barna data offer insight into who Americans look to in these times of tension and how many Americans trust pastors to help them navigate sensitive conversations.

Global Teens Share Their Perceptions of Jesus, the Bible & Justice

How do today’s teens think about Jesus, the Bible and justice? The Open Generation, Barna’s largest global study created with the partnership of organizations—including Alpha, Biblica and World Vision, with additional support from Christian Vision, Bible Study Fellowship, Christ In Youth and the Association of Christian Schools International—offers responses from nearly 25,000 teens, ages 13–17, in 26 countries and speaking 17 different languages, to answer this question.

54% of Those Who Give Experienced Generosity Themselves

Fact or fiction? Those who give have been given to. Barna’s new report, Why Giving Is Good—the third volume in The State of Generosity series created with Gloo and a collective of partners—explores what leads U.S. adults and Christians to practice generosity in their own lives. For many, it is true that seeing kindness encourages them to extend kindness to others.

The Deeply Personal Reasons People Give Financially

What motivates people to give? In Barna’s latest release, The Giving Landscape—the first of several journals created in partnership with Gloo and a collective of other partners as part of The State of Generosity series—brand new data highlights the reasons why U.S. adults and practicing Christians choose to give.

New Data Shed Light on Polarization in America

Ministry leaders of all stripes have increasingly had to navigate the reality of polarized views within their communities and congregations. For instance, Barna recently learned that one of the main reasons some pastors are thinking about leaving full-time ministry is political division. Indeed, new Barna research raises questions about a more divided America. Comparing a June 2022 survey to data collected in 2015, we see growing inconsistencies in U.S. adults’ willingness to discuss important topics with others and to examine their own views.

3 Challenges Facing Working Moms Today

Even as the constraints of the pandemic era have begun to lift, the current pressures felt by working moms have yet to alleviate. In a recent Barna survey, working mothers shared with Barna that they are feeling overwhelmed, navigating workplace shifts and desiring time to prioritize self-care, findings we’ll take a closer look at in this article.

Pastors' Credibility Is in Question—Even Among Pastors

For a while now, Barna has been reporting on the credibility crisis America’s pastors are facing. Amid lukewarm feelings about their credibility, pastors may wonder how they can regain the trust of their communities in the current climate. Today, we'll share data from The Resilient Pastor—a newly released book from pastor, author and Barna senior fellow Dr. Glenn Packiam—to explore current perspectives on the credibility of America’s pastors as well as insights from Packiam on pastoral trustworthiness and reliability.

Most Christians Assume Diverse Community Will Improve Race Relations

What can one person do to help address racial injustice in America? Beyond Diversity, a recent Barna study created in partnership with the Racial Justice and Unity center, offers trends on Americans’ fluctuating motivation to address racial injustice and highlights ways congregants, as well as whole congregations, can pursue justice in their communities.

Excerpt: Better Questions & Disciplines for Digital Church Innovation

This article is an excerpt from Benjamin Windle's latest work, Digital Church in a Lonely World, published as the first Barna Ideas release. Barna Ideas is a series committed to exploring new models, new methods and new mindsets for the future of the Church. Windle's full work, which explores the seven ingredients necessary for church community in an increasingly digital and lonely world, is available both in Barna's online store and on Barna Access Plus.

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