Barna Group Announces Newest, Most In-Depth Research Initiative to Study America's Church

(Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash)

Barna Group, a leading research company focused on the intersection of faith and culture, today announced the launch of a new research initiative on the state of the church in the U.S. The upcoming State of the Church 2020 survey will be the most in-depth and comprehensive study in Barna's 35-year history.

"This is a new decade and a time of significant cultural, digital and spiritual disruption," said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group. "We're committed to help serve the church by preparing pastors and leaders to lead faithfully through it all."

Designed to help the church and its leaders see clearly, lead confidently and engage people and communities effectively, Barna's State of the Church initiative combines updated research and a brand-new technology offering for pastors. Barna has tracked State of the Church survey data on an annual basis for 35 years, but the public release of the survey was discontinued in 2010. The new research will analyze previous tracked research as well as the new 2020 survey findings.

In addition, Barna has partnered with Gloo to launch a new, free and secure church assessment, the Barna ChurchPulse. Gloo is an innovative technology company that helps life-changing organizations leverage the power of data and technology to become more effective.

"Our team is excited to relaunch the State of the Church project and to do so in a way we've never done it before," Kinnaman continued. "Through the State of the Church 2020 survey, we will unlock the big picture and frame the most important challenges and opportunities for pastors and Christian leaders. But then, for the first time ever, we have the ability to personalize those insights for each and every church through the Barna ChurchPulse."

The new Barna ChurchPulse assessment offers churches access to tailored, impactful data about their church and their people in a completely secure format. Church leaders will have access to metrics on their organization that expands way beyond giving (or tithing) statements and attendance records, which Barna research shows are the most common data points accessible to pastors. These alone leave many gaps for pastors who want to analyze the growth, health and impact of their organization.

"We are honored that the technology we've been working on for a decade can help to support this important project and our friends at Barna Group," said Scott Beck, CEO and co-founder of Gloo. "We've seen firsthand just how powerful the right platform and the right tools can be when it comes to getting leaders on the same page. We're here to do our part in bringing hope and resources to leaders through the State of the Church project."

Customized information in the Barna ChurchPulse will focus on two key metric areas, "Flourishing People" and "Thriving Churches," to help church leaders understand their church's current strengths and opportunities. Based on the premise that thriving churches produce flourishing people, the individualized assessment will demonstrate 1) how well a church's people are doing across many dimensions of life and 2) the health and vitality of the church as an organization.

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