For the first time in more than a year, Erin Mohring and her family attended church in person this past Sunday. They are not the only previously familiar faces returning to pews across the U.S.
A Lifeway Research study earlier this year found 9 in 10 Protestant churchgoers say they plan to return to in-person services once COVID-19 is no longer an active threat. Many of those who are just now returning or plan to return later were, like the Mohrings, active members of their congregation.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mohring said she and her family attended Sunday services and Wednesday night activities each week. After coronavirus cases began to spread across the U.S. last spring, however, they made the decision on March 15, 2020, to attend strictly remotely.
That became more difficult as their church moved back to in-person services. “The church we were attending when the pandemic hit did online services for a little while, but when group gatherings of any kind were allowed again in our area, the online services became an afterthought and eventually went away,” she said.
Among weekly churchgoers pre-COVID, 66% attended in person less frequently, if at all, in January 2021. Despite how it may seem, here’s why that can be good news for churches. https://t.co/W6VtcBIjE4
— Lifeway Research (@LifewayResearch) April 22, 2021