THE COVID 19 OUTBREAK FORCED MANY CONGREGATIONS INTO MEETING REMOTELY FOR THE SAFETY OF ALL PARTIES. NOW AS WE MOVE TOWARDS A POST COVID SOCIETY SOME MUST REVISIT WHAT THE NEW NORMAL IS WHEN IT COMES TO CHURCH SERVICES.
As cities open back up and individuals flood restaurants, malls, stores, and attractions many leaders and those in positions within the church wonder if the same energy and fervor to be "outside" will be kept or directed towards attending church.
During 2020, as the Pandemic ruled, we saw an influx of virtual church services to meet the needs of the quarantined masses. Now as the rest of the country and cities gradually open back up there remains a skepticism surrounding the return of congregants to the pulpits.
A Lifeway Research survey highlighted the following statistics regarding church goers in 2021.
31% of churches are still reporting less than 50% of their January 2020 attendance
37% are hovering between 50% to 70% and 30% are between 70% to 100%
Only 2% report seeing more than 100% of their attendance a year ago.
These statistics above highlight the difficulty many churches are having in getting people back through their doors. We can only assume congregants have gotten comfortable with receiving the word in the comfort of their phones or are still weary of the claims that the pandemic is "over".
Regardless of the reasoning, “Churches continue to evaluate when to meet in person based on local conditions and cases within their congregation,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “Even when a church determines it’s safe to meet, their individual members will return on their own timetable.”
With hopes that fellowship, camaraderie, and the word of God is enough to get people back through the doors many church communities are still waiting for a semblance of normalcy to return along with a large chunk of the congregations.
Written by Precious Onukwuli