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Reply to "SUNDAY SCHOOL AFTER THE PANDEMIC: Trends, Articles, Statistics"

Most have come back (to worship)

11/15/21

Lifeway Research has released the results of their August 2021 "return to worship" poll of Protestant churches:

98% of churches are open for worship

By August 2021, the average church had 73% of their church members in person on Sunday morning. That number was 63% in August 2020.

91% of churchgoers told Lifeway Research they planned on attending church services as much as they did prior to the pandemic or even more once COVID-19 was no longer an active threat to people’s health.

On average, small church attendance in worship is higher than big church attendance in worship. Said the Lifeway researcher: “It’s 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.”

African American pastors are 12.5 times as likely as white pastors to say their attendance is less than 30% what it was before COVID-19 (25% to 2%).

Still no polls about the return to "small groups," or children and youth ministry.

There's certainly a lot to cheer in these latest stats, but it's important to note that the poll results are "averages" --meaning, some churches are doing better, and some are doing worse. As well, some prognosticators are concerned about the long-term impact of losing 10% of members and the trend toward less "regular" attendance.

I'm in the process of preparing a SURVEY about Oct 2021 Sunday School attendance. Members should watch for an email about that soon!

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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