In the midst of disruptive and challenging times, discover the major opportunities and obstacles facing Christian leaders. We understand that this cultural moment presents new pressures to leaders like you. How can we lead people to transformation and flourishing in a time of crisis and moment of increased complexity?
Have a front-row seat to State of the Church 2020, a Barna project in partnership with Gloo that will offer leaders up-to-date culture and faith trends as well as practical insights on how to lead through disruption and complexity.
Every year, Barna trains tens of thousands of leaders through its free webcasts. Gather your whole team virtually to hear how these data-informed insights can transform your ministry.
In today’s complex, fast-moving culture, information is more important than ever. In our current reality, as churches are forced out of their buildings and into online relationships with those they serve, we see the need to offer new ways to help leaders leverage technology to stay connected to their people. Join us at the webcast for church leaders on May 20 to learn more about new State of the Church resources and tools that enable you to participate in pastor polls and use customizable check-in assessments for your church.
Along with the trends we’ve studied for decades, State of the Church research also shines light into areas like crisis leadership, digital discipleship and how leaders can be prepared to engage in the present and in the “new normal” ahead, giving you new ways to explore the data and consider your context against national norms.
In a recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, second-time guest Pete Scazzero joins host Carey Nieuwhof to talk about the importance of leaders acknowledging their emotional health, how healthy leaders are developed and the consequences of avoiding grief.
Podcast host Carey Nieuwhof and Barna’s SVP of Research Brooke Hempell are joined by Dr. Anita Phillips, a trauma therapist, pastor, speaker and host of the In The Light podcast to discuss the collective trauma caused by the pandemic, the influence one's worldview has on discipleship models and practical ways leaders can walk with people through trauma and grief.
On a recent episode of ChurchPulse Weekly, host Carey Nieuwhof is joined by Raymond Chang, president of the Asian American Christian Collaborative.
Most practicing Christians and churched adults agree attending church is one of the most important experiences of their week. Even so, participating in a worship service can elicit a range of emotions from U.S. adults, from inspired and encouraged to guilty and disappointed.
ChurchPulse Weekly hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman are joined by Glenn Packiam and Andrew Hébert to discuss pastoral health in difficult seasons, returning to in-person gatherings and the challenges—as well as opportunities—presented by hybrid church ministry.
Tim Keller joins podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman to talk share on walking through suffering and leading in a hybrid context.
ChurchPulse Weekly hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman sit down with Saddleback pastor and best-selling author, Rick Warren, to talk about his experience seeking truth in a polarized world, leading through COVID and understanding how to walk through grief both personally and alongside others.
ChurchPulse Weekly podcast host Carey Nieuwhof sits down with returning podcast guest John Mark Comer, writer and pastor of Bridgetown Church in Portland, to talk about spiritual formation during a crisis-filled year, setting healthy pastoral rhythms and speaking into a polarized world.
In this week’s ChurchPulse Weekly episode, host Carey Nieuwhof talks with Dave Adamson, Director of Orange for Australia, about the future church, optimizing sermon titles for online platforms and the importance of continual innovation after a year of adaptation.
In a recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, host Carey Nieuwhof speaks with guest Bryan Loritts, pastor, author and founder of the Kainos Movement. Together, the two discuss what it looks like to build loving relationships across racial divides, to lead amidst pushback and to discern environments best fit for these conversations.
In a personal conversation on this week’s episode of ChurchPulse Weekly, Nieuwhof sits down with Kinnaman for the first time in 2021 to talk about making space to grieve, leading through loss and supporting others in their healing process.
On this week's ChurchPulse Weekly episode, Carey Nieuwhof sits down with pastor, speaker and author Jeanne Stevens to discuss innovative church leadership, casting vision for an uncertain future and Stevens' experience pastoring alongside her husband.
In recent ChurchPulse Weekly episodes, Carey Nieuwhof sits down with Sam Collier—who, along with his wife Toni, is launching Hillsong Atlanta—to talk about church planting amidst a pandemic, building intentional relationships with congregants and a new perspective on America’s racial unrest.
On the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, guest Vivian Mabuni sat down with host Carey Nieuwhof to discuss this year’s impact on people’s emotional well-being, women’s growing burdens and Gen Z’s current perception of the Church. She likens 2020 to a marathon without a finish line, but offers hope in Christ and encouragement for fellow leaders as they step into the new year.
In the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, Carey Nieuwhof invites Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of Life.Church, to share what he has learned as a church leader during 2020, and what lessons he hopes to take with him into the coming year.
Over the past nine months, data show that pastors’ mental and emotional well-being has suffered greatly as they worked to guide their people through the pandemic and an election year fraught with tension. Researchers also discovered that Christians’ relationships with churches are changing, with church attendance at a low even with digital worship services available to them. In recent ChurchPulse Weekly episodes, host Carey Nieuwhof chats with pastor Francis Chan about how church leaders can respond to the collapse in attendance and mental health.
In recent ChurchPulse Weekly episodes, host Carey Nieuwhof and guest Miles McPherson of The Rock Church in San Diego discuss the future of the Church, both in its changing modalities and in its pursuit of justice.
With the number of U.S. COVID cases once again on the rise as colder weather sets in and political polarization still palpable across the nation following the recent presidential election, pastors and their people may feel just as uncertain now as they did at the start of the pandemic seven months ago. In recent ChurchPulse Weekly episodes, host Carey Nieuwhof and guest Mark Sayers—cultural commentator, writer, speaker and pastor—discuss faith, safety and opportunity during crisis.
Back in 2019, Aaron McRae and Brian Wurzell of Hillside Church were hoping they’d explore digital outreach more in 2020. When the pandemic hit, they realized those plans would have to accelerate. Now, months later, they’ve seen unexpected fruitfulness, with over a million views on their YouTube—and they’re gearing up for Christmas. On the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, David Kinnaman summarizes Barna’s latest research, and podcast host Carey Nieuwhof sits down with McRae and Wurzell to discuss how the Church can minister during this year’s disrupted holiday season.
On the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, podcast hosts Nieuwhof and Kinnaman sit down with Alejandro Reyes, CEO of Digital Napkin and executive pastor at New Vintage Church, and Haley Veturis, director of digital engagement at Bayside Church, to talk about digital outreach in the church.
On ChurchPulseWeekly, Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman sit down with Christopher Harris and Jim Sheppard to discuss how churches can make healthy financial choices in 2020.
On the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman sat down with Pete Scazzero, founder of the Emotionally Healthy Discipleship ministry, to discuss how pastors and churches can respond to the widespread wounds of our traumatized world.
Church leaders are balancing between old and new normals. While leaders recognize that the pandemic isn’t going away any time soon, churches still have hope that the old normal will return. This week, podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman talk to three pastors on church planting in crisis: Dave Ferguson, Roy Helu Jr., and Glenn Lawson.
Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman invite Andy Crouch to join them for the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode. Crouch, author of The Tech-Wise Family, speaker and partner for theology and culture at Praxis Labs, shares his thoughts on the pandemic, and what pastors and their people can be doing to care for the heart, soul, mind and strength right now.
Earlier this year, in the midst of the pandemic, communicator, author and pastor of North Point Ministries, Andy Stanley, made national news when he announced that his church would remain closed to the public through the end of 2020, a decision many church leaders have been unwilling to make. On the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, podcasts hosts Nieuwhof and Kinnaman sit down with Stanley to discuss how he and his team went about making the decision to keep their church buildings closed through the end of the year and what it takes to lead well in the midst of uncertainty.
Last week, podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman sat down with Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Communitny Church in Washington, DC, to discuss ministry in the current digital era. While the COVID-19 crisis has forced many churches to take their weekly outreach online because of social distancing, the ChurchPulse Weekly hosts and guest also discussed how harnessing the internet for ministerial purposes was a growing need, even before the pandemic. This week’s episode is a continuation of last week’s conversation between Nieuwhof, Kinnaman and Batterson, and covers topics such as next gen ministry, city-wide outreach and the importance of remembering to be kingdom minded.
In the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman are joined by Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C., to discuss pastoring in the digital age.
Just a few weeks ago, nearly half of U.S. pastors (47%) shared that one of the greatest challenges they’re facing at this moment is ministry to children and youth. This week, podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman drill deeper into this stat with guest panelists Leslie Mack and Shane Sanchez, seeking to offer clarity and direction to leaders who are struggling with next gen ministry.
Over the past few months, pastors and parents alike have expressed the struggle they face when it comes to ministering to children and youth in a time of social distancing. In a recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman are joined by Kara Powell, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute, to discuss the unique challenges pastors, parents and teens are facing in the current moment.
As summer comes to a close, the pandemic continues to grip the United States, forcing pastors to consider what it means to lead online or hybrid church services into the fall of 2020.In this week’s episode, Jon Tyson, author and lead pastor of Church of the City, New York, joins podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman to comment on real time data on the tensions pastor feel when it comes to leading in the current moment.
In the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman are joined by Nona Jones, head of Faith-Based Partnerships at Facebook, author, speaker and pastor, along with her husband Tim, at Open Door Ministries in Gainesville, Florida. Jones, a previous ChurchPulse Weekly guest, shares ways pastors can increase their digital and social ministry to foster meaningful relationships with their people in this continued age of social distancing.
One aspect of the “new Sunday morning” that has largely been impacted by social distancing guidelines is group expressions of worship, like corporate singing or taking communion. This article takes a look at some pre-COVID data to illuminate the worship styles and preferences of believers, noting mainline Protestants' desire for liturgical worship, Millennials' leanings toward weekly charismatic faith expressions, and more.
National conversations this summer have largely remained focused on racial tensions in the U.S. and the increase of COVID-19 cases across the country. In a recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman sit down with pastors Derwin Gray (Transformation Church in Charlotte, NC) and Darryn Scheske (Heartland Church in Indianapolis, IN) to discuss issues of race and faith as well as their plans for keeping their churches closed for in-person worship during this season of disruption.
Just a month ago, we revealed recent findings on The New Sunday Morning, highlighting trends in attendance and online engagement among three types of churchgoers in this new era of digital church: Christians who streamed their pre-COVID church online, Christians who streamed a different church online and Christians who stopped attending church altogether. In this article, we’ll take closer look at each of these three groups of Christians, studying findings on generational, flourishing and emotional trends among each.
With COVID-19 cases rising across the nation, ChurchPulse Weekly podcast hosts Nieuwhof and Kinnaman look at tracking data on the pandemic to see how the health crisis is currently affecting pastors and their congregants. Scott Sauls, senior pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN joins the conversation to discuss reopening, in-person worship precautions and ongoing digital engagement.
Recent Barna data show that only 29 percent of U.S. Protestant pastors say their church is actively involved in addressing racism or racial inequality. Last week’s ChurchPulse Weekly episode found hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman beginning a conversation about race and the Church with podcast guests Albert Tate, lead pastor of Fellowship Monrovia (California), and Rev. Dr. Nicole Martin, Executive Director of Healing and Trauma at American Bible Society—a conversation that was continued this week.
COVID-19 has already influenced the future trajectories of businesses and organizations—and the Black Church is no exception. Recent data show that over nine in 10 Black Church churchgoers (92%)—that is, attendees of primary Black Protestant denominations who have been to church at least once within the past six months—agree that their church responded well to the pandemic.
Over the last few weeks, COVID-related news has fallen to the wayside as stories covering racial tensions in the U.S. have dominated headlines. The current national discussion has highlighted stark contrasts and divisions in our nation, in government, communities, friends and even family—and the Church is no exception. Data show that church leaders express different levels of confidence and comfort when it comes to addressing racism from the pulpit, but now is a time to speak out against injustice, not be silent.
In this week’s ChurchPulse Weekly episode, podcast hosts Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman chat with Jennie and Levi Lusko about addressing racial justice from the pulpit and as a family, how the current moment provides churches and families the chance to reboot and keeping the church doors closed even after being permitted to reopen.
In the most recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, hosts Nieuwhof and Kinnaman discuss the pandemic’s impact on kids’ ministry with Frank and Jessica Bealer. Have churches done a good job keeping children and youth programs running during social distancing? What does the future of kids’ ministry look like as we reenter church? This article takes a look at five things church leaders should keep in mind when it comes to children’s ministry in the current moment.
Over the last few months, Barna has done extensive research on the digital church trends that have surfaced as a result of COVID-19, exploring new data on “worship shifting” as well as the uncertain digital and physical realities of churches. Now, three months into America’s fight against the pandemic and with some churches once again able to welcome members back into their physical buildings for worship, we’re curious to explore what new trends have emerged as a result of social distancing.
As the United States begins to reopen cities one phase at a time, church leaders are facing a new challenge which poses many questions, including should we reopen, and if so, how? While an ease of social distancing guidelines in certain areas allows congregants to once again gather for worship in their usual church building, are people ready to come back for Sunday services?
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.
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. 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 took some time to chat with pastor, author and culture expert Mark Sayers about what a “new normal” for the Church might look like.
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.
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 Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman, 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—virtual attendance and online giving—as well as whether or not churches are currently serving their communities and what metrics pastors are using to measure digital engagement during this time of social distancing.
Over the years, Barna has had several opportunities to research practicalities and perceptions of where American Christians come together. In this article, we’ll summarize how we’ve built an understanding of church buildings and look toward the future of worship spaces.
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.
Curious to know what church leaders are doing for their younger congregants, Barna reached out to pastors during a weekly check in. The findings from this survey were broadcast live on the ChurchPulse Weekly podcast on Monday, April 6th. You can listen to the most recent episode here or listen in wherever you get your podcasts on Thursday, April 9th.
As Easter Sunday draws near, a myriad of holy week traditions come to mind, one of which is partaking of the eucharist. So, are church leaders offering communion while social distancing guidelines are in place and churches are not meeting in person? In this article, we’ll take a look at recent Barna data to shed light on this question.
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.
As the U.S. continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic by extending social distancing practices through the end of April, church leaders across the nation are coming to terms with the fact that Easter 2020 is going to look much different than in years past. Over the last two weeks, Barna has been collecting data from church leaders across the country, asking what they plan to do for this year’s Easter services in light of the current crisis.
On Sunday, President Trump announced an extension of nationwide social distancing to April 30. With these federal guidelines in place, many pastors, some of whom were hopeful to be back in their church buildings before the end of April, are now faced with the new reality of not seeing their congregants face-to-face until the month of May, at least. This article explores how church leaders and their congregants are adapting to the closure of their physical spaces of worship and the innovative ideas blossoming around community and connectivity as a result of our new reality, social distancing.
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. .
Research shows that people turn to churches for hope and support during times of crisis, but in this current moment of social distancing, church leaders may feel at a loss when it comes to keeping in touch with their congregation and reaching out to their community. In an effort to help serve the Church during this time of unprecedented disruption and as a continued part of our research into the State of the Church 2020, Barna and Gloo have created the ChurchPulse Weekly Crisis Toolkit, a free resource that includes three ways to help pastors see clearly and lead effectively in this time of uncertainty. Staying connected is more crucial now than ever before.
As part of our latest study, the State of the Church 2020 project, we set out to learn how practicing Christians—a group already notably committed to their faith and to attending churches—describe the presence of technology in their faith formation, from weekly sermons to weekday drives.
Barna Group has been gathering survey data on the long-term shifts that have occurred in the United States over the last several decades. In this report, we explore data collected among 96,171 surveys over more than 20 years, giving us powerful insight into the changes happening in terms of faith practice, such as church attendance, Bible-reading and prayer.
Churchgoing is a dynamic part of U.S. society. New research from Barna Group shows the ways in which Americans are maintaining—and renegotiating—their connections with the churches that they attend. The State of the Church 2020 study is a year-long examination of the spiritual and religious trends that define American life these days. To provide a meaningful analysis of the trends affecting pastors and Christian leaders, Barna’s researchers primarily explored two different categories of adults who have relatively recent experience in a Christian church—practicing Christians and churched adults.
This year, here at the start of a new decade—the 2020 decade!—Barna Group is returning to one of its foundational projects: the State of the Church. In this pivotal moment, our aim is to help Christian leaders gain a realistic-and-hopeful context and discern a faithful direction forward in our chaotic, disruptive culture. Or, as we’ll say a lot this year: to see clearly, lead confidently and engage effectively.
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.