Record high 51% of pastors foresee a decline in attendance after pandemic

by Jenny Mount · Sep 23rd, 2020 4:16 pm

Last Updated Sep 24th, 2020 at 6:43 am

A recent Barna survey showed that some pastors believe they will see a decline in their congregation's attendance once the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is over.

In a poll released on Monday, statistics revealed that 51% of senior pastors and executive pastors believe their church will experience a decline in attendance after the pandemic. Of those pastors, 46% believe their attendance will decline "slightly," while 5% believe theirs will decline "significantly."

The survey, which began in March, is in its 17th week. During its first week, only 16% of pastors said they expected to see a decline in attendance. Seventeen percent of pastors expect their attendance to grow, while 27% of pastors think their attendance will stay about the same.

The survey, which was part of Barna's weekly Church Panel, also found a record-tying 65% of pastors saying that their churches are "open for normal use, with some precautions in place." Fifteen percent are either closed or open to staff only, and 16% of churches are open just for small gatherings or meetings. Meanwhile, only 2% of pastors say their churches are open for normal use with no precautions.


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