Poll shows fewer churches are holding in-person services, attendance has plummeted

by Jordyn Pair · Feb 26th, 2021 10:47 am

Last Updated Mar 1st, 2021 at 10:20 am

A new poll from Lifeway Research has revealed that fewer Protestant churches are hosting in-person services and that attendance for those services has dropped since last year.

According to the poll, 87% of Protestant pastors said that their churches were meeting in-person last September, a number that dropped 11 percentage points to 76% in January 2021.

Lifeway Research also found that 31% of pastors said attendance at their churches in January 2021 was less than half of what it was a year ago, and 37% percent of pastors said that their current congregations are between 50% and 70% of the numbers they saw in January 2020. However, 30% said their numbers were between 70% and 100% of last year's congregations, and just 2% said they had seen growth.

Lifeway's poll also revealed that children's and youth ministries have been heavily impacted, with just 32% of youth ministry and 25% of children's ministry conducting all activities in person. Another 25% of youth ministries and 24% of children's ministries are doing some activities in person.

Roughly a fifth of both student and children's ministry is happening online, but a fifth of churches said they are not holding student ministry and a third of churches said they are not holding children's ministry at all.


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