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40 Percent of Churchgoers Are Still Doing Online Church

40 Percent of Churchgoers Are Still Doing Online Church

Livestream church services have become a popular alternative for many churchgoers, with nearly 40 percent saying they’ve watched a livestream instead of attending in person more than five times over the past year, according to a study by Lifeway Research. In the same timeframe, only one in five say they’ve never watched a service online.

Young adult churchgoers (aged 18-34) are more likely to have watched a livestream compared to older age groups. Only 13 percent of young adults say they haven’t watched a livestream instead of attending in person in the last year.

Regardless of age, the frequency of livestream viewing has decreased since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

“The pandemic drove a large increase in the number of churches offering livestreams of their worship services, but some of these viewers were only temporary,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research.

When it comes to the validity of livestreaming as an alternative to in-person attendance, churchgoers have varying opinions. Most churchgoers believe livestreaming is acceptable when they are sick or caring for someone who is sick (60%), and nearly half see it as valid during travel (48%).

However, fewer churchgoers consider livestreams valid when a person just wants to watch online instead of attending in person (26%), or if they just got up too late (24%). The study also revealed that fewer churchgoers today view livestreaming as a valid replacement for physically attending church compared to 2019.

Most churchgoers see livestreaming as a temporary solution for emergencies like COVID-19. Only a minority view it as a supplemental biblical teaching resource or a means of staying connected with their church’s direction. The study also highlighted the generational divide in attitudes toward livestreaming, with younger churchgoers being more open to incorporating it into their spiritual practices.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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