DES MOINES, Iowa – The Barna Group launched a research project entitled “The New Sunday Morning,” tracking church attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic while most churches could not meet in person streaming online services instead.

Below are some of their key findings among practicing Christians released last Wednesday: (Barna Group defines practicing Christians as those who” identify as Christian, agree strongly that faith is very important in their lives and have attended church within the past month.”)

  • Only 53 percent of those surveyed say they watched their church’s service online during the previous four weeks.
  • Digital “church hopping” is a thing with 34 percent admitting they watch another church’s service. 
  • Thirty-two percent told Barna Group researchers that they did not stream services at all. 
  • Only 35 percent just watched their home church’s services. 
  • Only 14 percent officially switched churches during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Half of Christian millennials said they did not stream services, 35 percent of GenXers, and 26 percent of Boomers said the same. 

In June, Barna Group reported that nearly half (48 percent) of all churched adults (adults who have been to church during the last six months) did not stream services while 96 percent of pastors said they streamed services weekly. They also reported that 15 percent of practicing Christians say they multitask while streaming services.

They also noted that routines differed among practicing Christians while streaming services:

  • Sixty-four percent of percent said they pray during the service’s prayer time.
  • Among households, only 42 percent say they stream a service together.
  • Only 40 percent say they sing along with the worship. 

Read the full reports here and here. The research was conducted among 1,000 U.S. adults between April 28-May 5, 2020. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percent with a 95 percent confidence level. 

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