How Church Leaders Are Responding to COVID-19 Challenges: 2nd Round Survey

Even as there are emerging signs of optimism in combating COVID-19, the demands of this season on pastors and church leaders are not likely to lessen in the near future.

The world is changing rapidly. Initiatives and solutions that were fresh only a few weeks ago now ring stale in the minds of leaders, searching for ideas to keep pace in the changing context. While we understood the gravity of COVID-19 several weeks ago, few could have anticipated—and indeed many still do not fully appreciate—the depth of change we are living through.

In our initial survey, we uncovered several important issues in the early response of pastors and churches to the virus. For many respondents, the challenges of navigating the initial turn to online church, combined with uncertainty over the length of the crisis, dominated the results. As a result, pastors and church leaders were looking for practical advice on how to effectively make the transition while continuing to minister to their members and communities.

This most recent edition of the survey builds upon many of the same questions while also exploring in greater detail the impact of the crisis upon the financial state of the church and the mental health of the pastor. We are well over a month into the crisis and many have been on shelter-at-home orders for several weeks. This has placed not only a significant strain upon the resources of the church and its members but a burden upon pastors to lead and shepherd through this uncertainty. Even as there are emerging signs of optimism in combating COVID-19, the demands of this season on pastors and church leaders are not likely to lessen in the near future.

As with the previous survey, this is a convenience sample of churches within Exponential and the partnering networks, and is not a random or scientific sample. As such, it represents a snapshot of a subset of churches (connected to these organizations, …

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