CT is launching a reported series today, looking at the long-term impact of COVID-19 on American churches. Here are three stories to start:
The coronavirus hit Black churches especially hard, but they weathered it better.
More than 40 percent of church staff furloughed during the pandemic arestill looking for work.
As church attendance rebounds, pastors still wonder, What happened to the people who never returned?
As Asians celebrate the mid-autumn Moon Festival, a Taiwanese American pastor who worked for NASA describes how our draw to lunar exploration is “not only a scientific endeavor” but also “an exercise in trusting God.”
Behind the story
From news editor Daniel Silliman: An older couple at the church I’m a part of caught the coronavirus last week. COVID-19 isn’t over. And yet for my church, like so many now, the challenge these days isn’t figuring out how to respond to a pandemic. The challenge is figuring out how to interpret our experience and get a clear picture on the long-term impact COVID-19 is having on the church.
ChurchSalary, one of CT’s sister publications, is releasing an invaluable resource for this task. Working with Arbor Research, ChurchSalary has interviewed more than 1,600 Protestant pastors and followed up with qualitative interviews of 17 focus groups. The full report is available now.
The news team at CT, of course, has long reported on how churches responded to COVID-19. With the help of this study, we’re looking now at some of the long-term questions. What happened to the church staff that got furloughed in the early days of the pandemic? Why did Black churches get hit harder, but do better? How many churches saw attendance go down, and do we know why?
We’ll be answering these questions and more in the coming weeks. We responded to COVID-19. Now we want to understand its impact on us.
In other news
The National Association of Evangelicals has launched an online tool to assess and coach leaders on racial justice.
Promise Keepers Canada is changing its name and its approach to impacting men.
Two parents are suing a Louisiana school district over a field trip where they say their child was tricked into attending an evangelical church event.