Manage episode 262333482 series 1105654
We need to begin these insights by stating there was already an interruption that was being felt in the church world pre-pandemic. The church world was on a pathway of disruption with or without Covide-19. That said Barna Research has been on the fore-front of this study. Churches in Canada, USA, and United Kingdom have been part of a weekly snapshot of what Leaders and attendees are thinking in real time. Let’s examine 5 insights that we know currently after 7 weeks of quarantine.
Leaders are doing well and feel reasonably equipped to help people – 51% of Pastors stated they have been extra time for their devotional life while 49% have it difficult to maintain their devotional life. 30% of Pastors state they feel well-equipped to help people while 64% state they feel somewhat prepared to help people. This quarantine has pushed mental health concerns to the forefront. As a church I do not feel that we should forfeit meaningful conversations with people that could honestly help, under the notion that we are not licensed Mental Health Counselors. Here are a couple of suggestions….
Who am I? is a powerful conversation that can lead to What is my identity? Am I adequate? Am I worthy? Am I special? Am I unique?
The second question is Am I safe? This question can lead to Can I trust the world and environment around me? Are things predictable? Is this situation fair and balanced?
The research is clear, we have some improvements that need to be madein engaging others in meaningful conversations that will be impactful in people’s lives. The church is a great place to allow humanity to be on display – caring and helping others.
Online Attendance has Increased. What Does That Mean? – In the second week of quarantine 45% of churches reported increase attendance over the normal attendance of attending church. However, as the weeks of isolation have continued there is a serious discussion on how to count online attendance.
By week 7 church attendance has somewhat moderated as churches are still attempting to figure out how to count attendance. 60% of churches are using a multiplier of 2.5 people per devices being connected, while others have started using online connect cards to count actual numbers of who is watching in the home.
This discussion brings us to the real issue; Has the church been called to measure “Content Presentation” to “Listenership/Attendee” or are we tasked to Make Disciples which would be an entirely different metric?
Virtual Giving Is Lagging Behind Other Forms of Engagement – 37% of churches are reporting lower giving, 31% giving has remained the same, and 25% have increased in giving.
Many Congregations Offer Community Support Amid Crisis, But Some Have Yet to Organize – This item has remained steady throughout the last 7 weeks primarily due to the fact churches that were already engaged have continued to do so. Churches that were notengaged remain detached – 25%.
Pastors Express Hope For Their Church’s Future – During the first week there were 15% of pastors that indicated they would not be able to survive an extended period of quarantine. Currently only 1% are not confident they will survive.
In closing there is much we don’t know yet. How will the online methods of worship and liturgy continue to evolve? When will the finances of both organizations and individuals recover? What will be the mental and emotional toll on leaders and churchgoers who have faced loneliness, anxiety and grief? Should congregations plan to approach additional periods of social distancing as the world continues to fight the disease? How can churches best partner to help the vulnerable in this time?
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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!