My church isn’t opened back up yet as we meet in a college auditorium and we’re at the mercy now of when the school re-opens. I’ve been hearing lots of reports from different people on church attendance since reopening, saying it’s a fraction of what it used to be. Personally, I don’t think it’ll ever get back to what it was. Unfortunately.
However, I wanted to see from those that are back in live services what you’re seeing and experiencing specific to corporate worship. After having 2-3 months without it, are your people jumping back in and participating in worship? Or are you seeing any differences in response and participation?
By participation in worship, I'm assuming you mean attendance at church rather than the degree of engagement during the musical portion of the service specifically.
Before health concerns led us to shut down in-person services in March, our Sunday attendance was around 200. We opened back up about a month ago, and our attendance has been about half that. We do still have a live stream attendance of about 40-50 connections so not clear how many that is. We were having some long term attendance declines AND were in an interim period between lead pastors when this all started, and the environment we are in hasn't particularly helped the process.
It has been interesting the past year.
For the first 2 months (mid March '20 thru Memorial day we were 100% virtual on Zoom. Our A/V team set it up so it ws being broadcast on FB and YouTube. Then we gathered back at our building (just the speakers and worship team and broadcast from there with an empty sanctuary.
Now we have a 25% capacity allowance, but there are some parts of the service that we cannot do; but our music is pretty much back to normal now.