Home Christian News Church Attendance Is Up, Volunteer Engagement Is Down: Report

Church Attendance Is Up, Volunteer Engagement Is Down: Report

Unstuck Group Report
Photo by Nathan Mullet (via Unsplash)

A new report published by The Unstuck Group has found that while church attendance in the U.S. appears to have recovered from the pandemic, engagement is still down. 

The Unstuck Group is a church consulting group that aims to “help pastors grow healthy churches by guiding them through experiences to align vision, strategy, team and action.” The organization was founded by Tony Morgan, who serves as its lead strategist. 

The report, which The Unstuck Group undertakes quarterly, compiled data from 288 American churches that ranged in size from under 100 to over 8,000 in physical attendance for worship gatherings. The churches participated in the survey between July 14 and Aug. 2. 

The average in-person attendance of churches that participated was 623 people. 

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Morgan pointed out that most churches are healthy when it comes to attendance and new growth but have been experiencing trouble engaging regular attenders. 

“Specifically, there was a 4% increase in the number of new people that churches started tracking in their database over the last year compared to the year before,” wrote Morgan. “On average, a church with 1,000 people in attendance celebrated 100 people crossing the line of faith! That’s a huge win.” 

While new decisions to follow Jesus is down by 11% from last year, overall in-person attendance is up 22%. In-person attendance to children’s ministry averages 18% of overall church attendance, and in-person student ministry has increased by 12% since last year. 

Conversely, engagement in online services has declined by 6% from last year. 

Further, other forms of engagement are also down, including for small groups. “Churches are now seeing 47% of their adults and students participate in a group,” the report stated, “which is down from 51% a year ago.”

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Volunteering is likewise down, with churches reporting that 34% of their adult congregants serve in some capacity at least once a month, which is down from 37% last year. Prior to the pandemic, volunteer engagement was between 45% and 50%.