The pandemic did not impact every leader and congregation equally. Obstacles, pressures, and risks varied as they do in regular life based on a litany of factors.

As we've discussed, one of our biggest surprises was that the strength of state restrictions did not appear to significantly impact attendance, budget, giving, or staff size changes at churches across the country. Instead, one of the biggest predictors was how congregations reacted to the implementation of pandemic health measures. The two strongest predictors, as we're going to see, ended up being location and ethnicity, both individual and congregational.

Based on the Appendix of the report, in this special bonus episode host Aaron Hill (editor of ChurchSalary) sits down with an all-star lineup of Arbor researchers to unpack how the pandemic disproportionately impacted leaders and congregations in terms of education, gender, individual ethnicity, location, age, and congregational ethnicity. Featuring contributions from Tyler Greenway. Eric Shieh, Ebonie Davis, and Terry Linhart.

Hosted by Aaron Hill, editor of ChurchSalary

“COVID and the Church” is produced in conjunction with the Arbor Research Group and funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. through a grant from the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders (ECFPL) initiative.

Executive produced by Aaron Hill, Terry Linhart, and Matt Stevens

Director for CT Media is Matt Stevens

Audio Engineering, Editor, and Composer is Tyler Bradford Wright

Artwork by Ryan Johnson