CHURCH ATTENDANCE AFTER COVID
How is church attendance doing now that Covid is (hopefully) settling down? The general trend, even in Bible believing churches, is that church attendance is down. Consistently down. This is proving to be the case pretty much across the board in both mainline and evangelical churches.
A recent Pew Research Center study indicates that the number of persons who at least said they attended church regularly before Covid has been cut by about 30% (post-Covid). What’s interesting is that this is not something that’s unprecedented in church history. Looking back through the centuries there have been certain events such as natural disasters, plagues, war, or famines that have shifted church attendance; not just for a short time, but for at least several generations in terms of impacting religious involvement and church activity.
Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research says that based on their recent research, “Most small churches are still not back to pre-pandemic attendance, but far more of them are reaching this point than larger churches are. It is possible small churches are aided by perceived safety of a naturally smaller gathering, differences in technology options for gathering online, or the strength of relational connections. But regardless of the reasons why, in-person worship attendance trends currently look promising for small churches.”
Currently attendance at EFCCL is down about 20-25%. This is part of the same trend that I’ve called the “great shifting of the American church.” While it can be discouraging, it’s not all bad. A leaner congregation does not automatically mean a less healthy one. In our case, we are seeing God’s blessing in more dramatic ways than ever: financially in terms of tithing, in youth ministry, worship ministries, children’s ministry etc. God’s hand is still clearly on our congregation, and in many ways, we seem stronger than ever! May the Lord continue to lead and guide us to the next season of what He is calling us to do.