How many churches are actually closing because of the Coronavirus pandemic? We are asking that question each week and sharing our research on this page. Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below. This page is the archive of closure polls which began the weekend of March 15, 2020 – the first Sunday after the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
Church leaders are faced with the hard choice to cancel worship services and other ministry programs. We respect that decision process – praying only that all can discern the best available actions in this historic Coronavirus outbreak. We recommend the CDC advice for faith based organizations as an essential starting point.
7% of churches were open on 3/29/2020
1/5 of churches were open on 3/22/2020
3/5 of churches were open on 3/15/2020
Ministry-To-Children Poll on Coronavirus Church Closures
Is your church open this Sunday, March 29?
2121 website responses from 3/27 to 3/30 (source)
|Online Only / Building Closed||2,068||93.49%||93.49%|
Is your church open this Sunday, March 22?
3,916 website responses from 3/20 to 3/22 (source)
|Online Only / Building Closed||3,354||85.65%||85.65%|
Is your church open this Sunday, March 15?
3,114 website responses from 3/13 to 3/15 (source)
|Online Only or Closed||797||25.59%||25.59%|
Our unscientific survey was available to anyone browsing the website. It was shared many times outside the website as well. I see this as a low-end estimate because readers to Ministry-To-Children are primarily here seeking resources for their weekend ministry. This is a self selecting sample and would over report the number of open churches. In February 2020, our website served 704,000 readers. This makes Ministry-To-Children one of the largest platforms that reach church ministry leaders.
Facebook Polls Cancelled Worship Services
March 29, 2020 POLL: 9% Normal Schedule — 91%Closed // online only.
March 22, 2020 POLL: 6%Normal Schedule — 94%Closed // online only.
March 15, 2020 POLL: 56% normal schedule — 44% closed / online only
This was a smaller number of respondents but from a wider audience. This poll was shared on several children’s ministry groups. I see this as a high-end estimate because readers on Facebook were actively talking about what they should do about the closures. This group would over report the number of churches closed.
Limitations of our Church Closure Research
Beyond the unscientific nature of these findings, we see the following limitations in our methods:
- Our audience does not represent all Christian denominations equally. We have very few Roman Catholic readers and serve a mainly Protestant audience.
- Our audience does not represent all sizes of churches equally. Our readers often come from smaller congregations.
Our surveys have many limitations, but for now this is the best snapshot available on church closures due to the COVID19 outbreak.
Scientific Research on Coronavirus Church Closings?
Will your church be open or closed next weekend?
I’m repeat these same polls next Friday through Sunday. My guess is that we will see less than 1/3 remaining open next weekend. Come back next week to see the updated information.