Nobody could have anticipated the COVID-19 crisis, or the sudden needs it would present to churches. During this unprecedented season of ministry, Barna has begun gathering data on a weekly basis, to offer an up-to-data snapshot of the well-being, challenges and logistical shifts in churches in the U.S. This article, a recap of the first two episodes of the new ChurchPulse Weekly podcast, specifically looks at the well-being of church leaders and their congregants in the in the midst of this global pandemic. .
For decades, Barna has conducted research specifically on U.S. church leaders, uncovering what they, and others, believe about their role in the Church, as well as shedding light on their concerns and aspirations for both the local church and the Church in the U.S. In an effort to get a snapshot of the current concerns clergy may have as they enter a new decade, Barna conducted a poll to see how pastors and priests rank some of the issues facing the Church today. We’re kicking off our State of the Church 2020 project with this new study, along with a few findings and statistics from past research to help contextualize faith leaders’ most pressing questions and problems.
Most U.S. adults hold a positive perception of pastors. In Barna’s 2017 The State of Pastors report, the data showed two out of three U.S. adults (66%) and nearly nine in 10 practicing Christians (91%) viewed pastors’ presence as a benefit in their community, while nearly the same percentage (64% U.S. adults, 87% practicing Christians) had a very positive opinion of a pastor they personally knew. In light of October being Pastor Appreciation Month and October 13th being Clergy Appreciation Day, Barna wanted to shed more light on pastoral perceptions on a personal level, outside of regular church services and events. In this article, we will learn more about those who view their pastor in a role other than church leader—and more specifically, as a friend.
It’s clear that communication is a strong factor in the experience during and success of a transition. Unfortunately, communication with and to congregants is often neglected during transitions. A new Barna report produced in partnership with Brotherhood Mutual, Leadership Transitions, examines how churches navigate pastoral change and stay healthy amidst the shift while offering insight on what and how to communicate during a transition.
Every church inevitably goes through a time of leadership transition. Whether because of retirement, scandal, health complications, a change in calling or some other shift in a pastor’s life or career, churches are bound to walk through a pastoral succession of some kind eventually. A new Barna report produced in partnership with Brotherhood Mutual, Leadership Transitions, addresses this universal reality and examines how churches navigate pastoral change and stay healthy amidst the shift.