One-third of all practicing Christians haven’t been watching either their own church online or another church’s streaming worship services since the state lockdowns in response to the coronavirus, new research reveals.
According to recent surveys from Barna, researchers identified a number of types of churchgoers in the digital church era: Christians who streamed their home church online, Christians who streamed a differing church, Christians who stopped “attending” church.
In a more in-depth examination of those groups released Wednesday, researchers found significant generational divides, noting that half of practicing Christian millennials had not attended church in the past four weeks. By contrast, only 35% of Gen X Christians and 26% of Baby Boomer Christians had foregone digital church attendance.
The Elder and Boomer groups combined comprise 56% of the Christian population in the U.S., data show.
“Though younger generations might be more accustomed to digital routines and innovations, their tenuous relationship with institutions seems to persist during this era of digital church,” the Barna report said.
“These trends highlight the importance of churches continuing to reach out to and disciple the next generation, especially those who are seemingly falling away during the pandemic.”
The data also revealed that only 14% of practicing Christians made a church switch during the pandemic. Some 18% of practicing Christians report viewing worship services from multiple churches throughout the month.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter