The week after Easter we sent a survey to our mailing list to get an idea of how churches are doing, what they’re running and what help they most need. The results from over 100 churches will shape how we seek to serve and equip churches with media in the coming months.
We hope these results will be an encouragement that your church is far from alone in struggling with the burdens and demands of holding services that are so limited! Here are the results from over 100 churches, 95% of them in the UK.
It’s not a massive surprise that 94% of surveyed churches are continuing to run online services. Although it’s not the same as meeting in-person, it’s a great provision for seniors and those shielding. However, we do understand streaming services may be too much for churches more limited by lack of technical expertise and equipment.
Interestingly, a later question which asked for ways Go Chatter could assist revealed many church leaders still struggling to master livestreaming, including using OBS, setting up cameras, preserving audio quality and editing videos. Since December 2020, we have run 2 webinars and helped over 100 churches to hold online services, use social media promotion effectively and create quality videos with a limited budget.
We’ll be holding a webinar on livestreaming services on a budget soon. Details will come out via our newsletter, so if you are interested please use the form at the bottom of this page to subscribe.
What an encouragement to see many churches returning to in-person services at Easter, after such extended separation from church family! After the sadness and isolation of Easter 2020, a few weeks into the first lockdown, it has been wonderful for some churches to enjoy something of a reversal this year.
If you’ve yet to return, don’t be discouraged. Many churches haven’t been able to return to in-person services yet either. And praise God for technology that allows us to continue meeting!
Such positive results for continuing online services after Covid were unexpected, but as the pandemic’s longterm effects on day-to-day life are still unknown, perhaps this is not surprising.
However, it’s worth noting that while online services means seniors and others shielding can access church, they also provide a way for others to choose service-on-the-sofa over physically meeting with church family. There may be a risk that pre-Covid expectations about attending church on Sundays (i.e. getting dressed, leaving the house, travelling to church, talking to church family) have now become optional extras.
Church should not driven by numbers, but they are a useful indicator of individual church health. So it would be a tragedy if churches, especially those that have grown during Covid (see below), now saw participation and engagement beginning to decline.
Of course, it’s too soon to tell for many churches, and so hard to gauge from online services where there is very little feedback. But we hope that you’re encouraged that Covid has not yet had the devastating impact on churches that many feared it would. After years of ‘the Church is dying’ articles and headlines, our prayer is that Covid will strengthen churches, not weaken them.
Aside from uncertainty over changing size (50%), the top two results (32% combined) show churches growing and new people engaging online who might not have stepped through a church door before. Many churches tell stories of engaged online Christianity Explored and Alpha courses, formerly hostile neighbours asking questions and being able to meet many from local communities by practically serving them.
As the ‘normal’ church routines of services, midweek groups and community outreach begin again, there are many ongoing and new pressures to deal with.
Go Chatter isn’t able to help with every pressure, but some of our products are uniquely positioned to serve churches with media, build them up and help them reach their local communities.
A big thank you to all who filled out our survey! It has been hugely beneficial for us, as we plan the next few months, and, we pray, to other churches and church leaders who have been encouraged that they are not alone.
If you have any questions, would be interested in another webinar or have any ideas for future videos, then we’d love to hear from you!
Do get in touch with Dan or Polly at: