COVID-19 Church Survey Third Round Report



“Churches are displaying both courage and caution in returning to in-person gatherings this summer.”

In partnership with the Billy Graham Center’s Send Institute and ARC, Exponential conducted a survey of church leaders and pastors’ responses to the COVID-19 epidemic and quarantine. The purpose of this polling is to help church leaders get a feel for where things are regarding the state of the Church and the significant challenges as they adapt to their new reality of remote ministry.

According to the 700+ church leaders who were surveyed, pastors and church leaders are experiencing the same uncertainty that we are seeing in other industries during this crisis. Churches are not exempt from this sense of uncertainty as they try to carve out new routines for weekly services and ministries. This most recent edition of the survey builds upon many of the same questions as our previous reports while also exploring in greater detail the decision about when to return to in-person gatherings. 

In the complete findings of this report you will find:

  • Trends in innovation
  • The complexity of returning to in-person gatherings
  • Current top priorities for church leaders
  • Trends in which voices are impacting churches’ decisions to re-gather

This Report is one of many resources available on our COVID-19 Resources Page. Click here for more.

To read the first survey report, click here. To read the second survey report, click here.

Thanks again to our partners the Billy Graham Center’s Send Institute and ARC for helping to get the word out about this important study.

Andrew MacDonald
Andrew MacDonald is the Associate Director of the Billy Graham Center Institute. He has an MA in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Talbot School of Theology and is currently a PhD Candidate in Historical Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Andrew and his wife Jenna live in Wheaton, Illinois with their two children.
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Daniel Yang
Daniel is the Director of the Send Institute, leading and overseeing all of its initiatives. Prior to directing the institute, he planted a church in Toronto where he also helped recruit, assess, and train church planters through the Send Network and the Release Initiative. Daniel has served on various church staffs including Northwood Church, led by Bob Roberts Jr., where he was trained as a church planter and involved in global and multi-faith engagement. Prior to church planting, Daniel was an engineer for eight years. He earned an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, and is currently a Ph.D. Intercultural Studies student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is also the co-author of Inalienable: How Marginalized Kingdom Voices Can Help Save the American Church (InterVarsity, May 2022).
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Ed Stetzer
Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College. Ed also serves as the Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton, and as chair of the Evangelism and Leadership Program in the Graduate School. Ed is a prolific author, and well-known conference speaker. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written or co-written a dozen books and hundreds of articles. Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is also the Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, which is used by over 1 million individuals each week. Stetzer also co-hosts BreakPoint This Week, a radio broadcast that airs on over 400 media outlets.  
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