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Pastors Share Hopes for the Church’s Future After COVID-19

For the past six weeks, Barna has been checking in on the state of U.S. pastors through a national pastor panel, gathering data on how church leaders and their congregations are faring in light of the current pandemic. This week on ChurchPulse Weekly podcast, hosts Nieuwhof and Kinnaman were joined by fellow faith leaders Mike Todd, Jo Saxton and Skye Jethani to discuss the importance of authenticity, how churches plan to restructure after the pandemic is over and what pastors say is their greatest hope for the Church after COVID-19.

Well-Being, Attendance, Giving: An Update on Current Church Trends

Over the last four weeks, Barna has been checking in weekly on the state of pastors, their families and their congregants in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis through national pastor panel surveys. In addition to these weekly check-ins, each Monday, Carey Nieuwhoff and David Kinnaman, often accompanied by expert guests and fellow church leaders, have presented and commented on the survey findings during a live broadcast of the ChurchPulse Weekly podcast. In this article, we’ll take a look at the trends we’ve consistently tracked over the last month—the well-being of pastors and their people, when pastors believe they can return to worship in their usual location and the state of virtual attendance and online giving.

Current Trends in Virtual Attendance & Weekly Giving Amid COVID-19

Over the last three weeks, Barna and Gloo have made a continued effort to check in on U.S. church leaders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week on Monday at 3PM EST, Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman have shared recent pastor panel data, illuminating current trends and findings in the ChurchPulse Weekly podcast, often hosting faith leaders and experts onto the broadcast to offer valuable insight for the current moment and coming days. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at the current well-being of pastors and their congregants, as well as review how other church logistics, such as attendance and giving, are faring in light of the crisis.

New Barna Surveys Check in on Pastors During COVID-19 Crisis

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. .

What's on the Minds of America's Pastors

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.

Do Christians Consider Their Pastors to Be Friends?

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.

Communication Is Key in Periods of Pastoral Transition

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.

Planned Pastoral Transitions Lead to Better Outcomes

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.

The Ups and Downs of Ministry

Pastoral ministry certainly has its peaks and valleys, but overall, most pastors are very satisfied with their vocation and love to preach. In partnership with Pepperdine University, Barna conducted a major study of senior pastors called The State of Pastors. In this infographic excerpt from the monograph, pastors weigh in on the best and worst parts of their job.

Who is Gen Z?

Over the past year, Barna has worked closely with Impact 360 Institute on a landmark study of Gen Z. Impact 360 works with the next generation—with teenagers and college students—to equip them in biblical worldview and leadership. This new study is a snapshot of the ways Gen Z sees the world and the culture.

Most Pastors Feel Energized and Supported

The call to pastoral ministry has its unique benefits and challenges, so in an effort to acknowledge the risks and rewards of pastoral ministry today, Barna created an infographic examining the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of pastors. Take a look.

The Credibility Crisis of Today’s Pastors

Barna’s State of Pastors report, produced in partnership with Pepperdine University, reveals that pastors in America face several hurdles to their cultural influence. It's not that people dislike pastors; it's just that they don't really care about them. Watch experts discuss the impact of these findings from our recent State of Pastors event.

What Americans Think About Women in Power

From Capitol Hill to the pulpit, the role of women in this country is rapidly changing. In celebration of International Women’s Day, Barna’s most recent study focuses on the public perception of women in places of influence or power in American society.

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