As more areas of the U.S. work through the phases of reopening following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, churches are faced with the weighty questions of whether to open their doors and, if so, how to maintain safe social distancing while still welcoming people back into their regular locations.
On May 20, Barna and project partner Gloo hosted a live webcast to reveal recent findings related to how the COVID-19 crisis has affected the U.S. Church. Barna president David Kinnaman was joined by webcast cohosts Carey Nieuwhof and Nicole Martin. Together, alongside expert guests and fellow thought leaders, the hosts presented findings related to human flourishing, organizational thriving and effective leadership, primarily focusing on three things church leaders can do as they care for the souls entrusted to their leadership: reset, refocus and restore.
Recent ChurchPulse Weekly questions asked of Barna’s pastor panel included how church leaders are personally feeling right now in terms of their well-being, mental health, calling and following government guidelines for reopening their churches, the responses of which we’ll summarize in this article.
In a time of isolation and unprecedented change, the well-being of pastors and their people has been at the forefront of Barna’s research. In this article, we’ll take a look at some trends that have emerged from the weekly pastor panel surveys, as well as recent data about practicing Christians’ well-being—relational, emotional and mental. These research findings and many more will be discussed even further at Barna’s State of the Church webcast on May 20 at 1pm ET, a free event for church leaders and their teams to join and learn more about the State of the Church at the beginning of our new decade.
Each Monday, on the ChurchPulse Weekly podcast, Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman, along with expert guests, discuss the findings from the most recent research, offering insight into the current moment as well as the coming days. This week, Nieuwhof and Kinnaman were joined on the live broadcast by Thom Rainer and Myron Pierce to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted average churches across the U.S., offering advice to both pastors who want to reopen their churches and leaders who are still leaning into digital discipleship for the time being.