New survey data shows the impact of COVID-19 on churches

Religious leaders report reduced giving, increased use of technology

To document the impact of COVID-19 on church life, Ministry Brands — a leading provider of software, services, and information platforms for churches, ministries, and those they serve — this week released new data from a recently completed national survey of churches across multiple denominations. The report, Coping with COVID-19: Insights from Church Leaders, is now available here.

“This new research shows that church leaders remain understandably concerned about the financial and operational impact of COVID-19,” said Pat O’Donnell, Managing Director of Ministry Brands. “But we’re also seeing parishes rise to the challenge by maintaining services in line with local restrictions and increasing digital communications.”

The online survey was completed by over 1,400 church leaders from across the country. Survey findings include:

  • Overall, almost 60 percent of respondents indicated that a reduction in giving income is one of the top challenges facing their church. This was particularly noticeable among Catholic churches, a full 67 percent of which expressed concern about reduced giving.
  • Across all denominations, 74 percent of responding churches are holding some combination of online services and in-person, socially distanced gatherings. Among Catholic parishes, 83 percent are offering in-person and online services, while 64 percent of Protestant churches have maintained both forms of worship.
  • As services continue and capacity levels increase based on state and local guidelines, churches are exploring options for COVID-19 contact tracing and communications. Overall, 57 percent of respondents selected this as a challenge facing their church.
  • Social media is also now a widely accepted and utilized engagement resource for all denominations, with 80 percent of respondents highlighting Facebook or other channels as a significant way to build engagement with members.

A summary view of the report is also available as an infographic and can be found here.

About Ministry Brands

Serving more than 80,000 customers, Ministry Brands is the leading provider of SaaS platforms for churches, parachurch ministries and other faith-based organizations in the United States and Canada. Under the leadership of a kingdom-driven management team, the company seeks to equip the 21st-century church with technology that empowers pastors, church executives, technology professionals and administrators to proactively carry out their Biblical mission with excellence, reverence, and efficiency. Learn more at


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