Diverse Congregations, Similar Experiences: How Pastors of Different Ethnic and Racial Churches Encountered Similar Issues and Opportunities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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It might be assumed churches coming from diverse cultural backgrounds would also express notable differences in how they conceptualize, operate, and envision the role of church, especially during times of crisis. However, despite having differing access to resources and levels of technological preparedness, this study found that congregations from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds in Indiana responded surprisingly similar to the digital shift that was required of their congregations during the Covid-19 pandemic. In our study of Indiana churches use of technology during the pandemic, we found White, African American and Multicultural congregations all approached digital technology as an essential “tool” to be used to solve the problem of sustaining weekly gatherings. The only notable difference was a slight shift between 2020 to 2021 in African American congregations manifested in their perceptions of technology. These congregations began the pandemic conceptualizing technology as a simple tool to help them replicate in-person gatherings, but a year later they primarily saw technology as an innovative way to build new community connections. Interestingly, a similar shift in perspective was not noted amongst White congregations.
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Campbell, Heidi A; Osteen, Sophia; Sparks, Grayson (2023). Diverse Congregations, Similar Experiences: How Pastors of Different Ethnic and Racial Churches Encountered Similar Issues and Opportunities During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Available electronically from
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