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How is the COVID-19 Crisis Affecting the Church? New Barna Initiative To Explore Impact and Serve Leaders

March 23, 2020 GMT

VENTURA, Calif., March 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- To serve Christian leaders during a disruptive time, Barna Group announced today the immediate launch of a free toolkit, the “ChurchPulse Weekly.” The comprehensive offering is part of Barna’s State of the Church 2020 research effort.

The ChurchPulse Weekly includes weekly poll data and research results about how church leaders are doing, survey tools so that churches can keep a pulse on how their people and teams are doing, and a weekly podcast to keep leaders up-to-date with the latest insights. This research will share information about how churches and church leaders are dealing broadly with cultural change and offer special analysis on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will impact church ministry.

Each Monday, starting today, Barna Group President David Kinnaman will discuss the latest research findings via live video with author, speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof. These discussions will include weekly guests and experts to help process the present crisis and how churches can respond to it. The conversations will be published later in the week as a podcast titled “ChurchPulse Weekly.”

“Last week, everything changed for everyone. We were already building these research tools before the coronavirus hit, and we’ve pivoted to make these tools even more helpful to help church leaders navigate this major crisis in more effective ways,” said Kinnaman. “We’d already committed this year to help the Church flourish and thrive in uncertain cultural times -- we just couldn’t have anticipated the needs of the Church amid COVID-19. We have access to resources that could benefit churches during social distancing, and so, nothing made more sense than to pivot our regularly scheduled plans for March and dive in on how we can encourage and help the church succeed through the coming months.”

Kinnaman and Nieuwhof believe this discussion will help church leaders think through some of the most significant challenges church leaders are facing today with hope, wisdom and tactical next steps. In addition to the survey findings, the “ChurchPulse Weekly” podcast will explore topics relevant to leaders during the pandemic, such as digital disruption of the church, how to care for the most vulnerable members of your congregation, weathering financial unknowns and long-term economic impact of COVID-19, and what an “online Easter” might look like.

“I’ve been equipping church leaders for a long time, and I’ve spent two decades leading a local church. This is unlike anything we’ve ever faced before,” said Nieuwhof. “David [Kinnaman] and I had just introduced an amazing group of networks to the Barna ChurchPulse on March 10. None of us knew what was coming just a week later. The good news is, number one, God’s faithfulness never fails, and, number two, the tech behind the ChurchPulse and the data Barna will release weekly will get church leaders the insights they need to lead with foresight and skill. Plus, they’ll hear about new, emerging church trends in real time. I’m excited to be a part of it, and I believe we can face the future together with hope.”

In January, Barna Group announced the State of the Church 2020 initiative, its most in-depth and extensive research project to date. The study will look at more than 30 years of collected data on the state of the Church and include updated insights for the year. As part of this project, Barna partnered with Gloo to launch, for the first time ever, a new, free assessment platform, the Barna ChurchPulse, for churches to access tailored data insights on their own church community.

Barna and Gloo remain on track to host their State of the Church 2020 webcast on April 28, 2020, which will focus on the topics that are immediately facing the Church. However, in light of the current world coronavirus crisis, the groups have worked together to make the immediate release of an initial assessment tool possible and accessible for free to faith leaders today.

“Church leaders in the U.S. started 2020 saying, ‘This year we want to connect with more people in our community,’ and, ‘This year we want to integrate more digital tools into our ministry.’ They’re still saying that, only now it’s this week rather than this year,” commented Scott Beck, founder and CEO at Gloo. “These tools and surveys will allow church leaders to understand how their people are doing and provide insights into the greatest needs of their community in real-time.”

Beck added: “I’m so grateful we have this technology to offer church leaders right now. God had a bigger plan for it than we ever knew.”

For more information and to get involved, visit www.churchpulseweekly.com.

About Barna
In its 35-year history, Barna Group has conducted more than 1.5 million interviews over the course of hundreds of studies and has become a go-to source for insights about faith and culture, leadership and vocation, and generations. Barna Group has worked with thousands of businesses, nonprofit organizations and churches across the U.S. and around the world, ranging from Protestant to Catholic organizations and leaders. Barna is an independent, privately held, nonpartisan organization based in Ventura, California, with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee.

David Kinnaman is the author of the bestselling books Faith For Exiles, Good Faith, You Lost Me and unChristian. He is president of Barna Group, a leading research and communications company that works with churches, nonprofits, and businesses ranging from film studios to financial services. Since 1995, David has directed interviews with more than 1.5 million individuals and overseen hundreds of U.S. and global research studies.

About Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church. He’s the author of several best-selling books, including his latest, Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects But Everyone Experiences.

Carey speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change and personal growth. He writes one of today’s most widely read Christian leadership blogs at www.CareyNieuwhof.com and hosts the top-rated Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast where he interviews some of today’s best leaders. His content is accessed over 1.3 million times a month by leaders.

About Gloo
Founded in 2012, Boulder-based Gloo, LLC, is a trusted technology platform provider for organizations that champion personal growth, including addiction recovery, mental health counseling, family programs, churches and other providers.

Gloo’s SaaS-based Personal Growth Platform gives providers access to a uniquely integrated ecosystem of advanced data, analytics, and a marketplace for organizations dedicated to improving people’s lives. In addition, Gloo’s platform grants access to personal growth resources, tools and innovations, including growth plans and assessments from respected research partners and professional associations. Gloo is obsessed with revolutionizing personal growth through technology.

As importantly, the standards and capabilities of Gloo’s Data Trust Infrastructure ensure a world-class level of personal information privacy and security across the company’s technology, processes and governance. Accordingly, Gloo is committed to CCPA, GDPR and HIPAA compliance.

For more information, please visit www.gloo.us.

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SOURCE Barna Group