Most churches and worshipers now gather in person
More and more American Protestant churches have been gathering in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and pastors say most of the faithful have returned as well.
Almost all U.S. Protestant pastors (98%) say their church met in person in August, according to a new study from Lifeway Research. This is the highest percentage of churches hosting in-person services since March 2020, when COVID-19 became a national health problem.
In the first week of March last year, 99% of Protestant churches met in person. At the end of the month, only 7% had done so, according to a previous study by Lifeway Research.
The majority of churches did not resume hosting in-person services until June 2020. As of September 2020, 87% have met physically, but that number has fallen to 76% in January 2021, according to Lifeway Research studies. at the time. As of August 2021, however, only 2% of churches did not meet in person at all.
âEach church’s path has been different during the pandemic, and each step in taking over specific aspects of ministry is important,â said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. âWorshiping together as a physical assembly of believers in Jesus Christ is an important part of Christian faith. For almost all Protestant churches, this stage of ministry is now active again, although other aspects of ministry may not be. “