22 Online Church Statistics for 2022, Or The Digitalization of The Sunday Morning Ritual

Updated · Apr 06, 2022

Sunday morning services are still a must for many people. Even though most of them prefer actually going to the House of God, virtual church seems to be a highly popular trend at the moment.

Actually, it’s been growing in popularity even before the pandemic struck the entire planet—a lot of church leaders already had a digital strategy in the works.

Online church statistics prove this was a smart move. Many people are now streaming churches’ content, donating money online, or are simply watching sermons.

So what’s ahead? Is the end of physical pews nigh? Keep reading to find out.

Captivating Facts About Online Church Services (Editor’s Choice):

  • 44% of people prefer to engage in prayer from home.
  • During the pandemic, 45% of Americans watched at least one Christian church online service.
  • 53% of practicing Christians streamed their church’s services online.
  • 33% of church attendees first found their church online.
  • Although they don’t go to church on a regular basis, 17 million Americans still visit church websites.
  • 96% of pastors live-streamed their services during the pandemic.
  • 40% of churched adults streamed services from their regular church.
  • In just a single year, over $2.2 billion in church donations were given online.

Church Attendance

Fewer and fewer people go to church in the 21st century…

Why is that?

Will the internet help with this?

1. 47% of people never abandoned the practice of in-person services.

(Source: Dacast) 

As tempting as the idea is of attending Sunday morning services online, many people still prefer going to church. To be more precise, nearly every other person still does. Both options, though, have their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s pretty logical to have supporters and opposition to either of them.

2. 44% of people would rather engage in prayer from home.

(Source: Dacast) 

Apparently, the other half prefers watching church services online. Numerous reasons can be behind this—perhaps people feel better praying from the comfort of their homes, or they want to save up travel costs. With the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, maybe they just want to practice social distancing.

3. Young adults and African-Americans are the most likely to watch a virtual church service, but not attend churches in person.

(Source: Lifeway Research) 

Not everybody can or wants to go to church regularly. For some of them, Sunday church service online is a great alternative way to spend a Sunday morning.

Young adults in the 18-34 age range, as well as African-Americans, are some of the biggest supporters of virtual church. 18% of the former and 22% of the latter fit the bill.

(Source: REACHRIGHT) 

Church attendance statistics show that there are other factors affecting said lower attendance.

9% of people attributed their deteriorating health as the reason, while 18% claimed sermons weren’t engaging enough, and 23% simply couldn’t find a church that’s right for them.

5. Attendance during the pandemic is only 36-60% of what it was before COVID-19.

(Source: REACHRIGHT) 

2022 church attendance statistics show that the pandemic itself is a major factor that’s keeping churches empty. Even though there are other factors, this definitely seems like the biggest cause.

6. Attendance in 2050 could be half that of 1990.

(Source: REACHRIGHT) 

Even pre-pandemic church statistics are giving proof that their attendance was continuously decreasing. Hopefully, this could also be a consequence of people making the move to online services and so churches might not be in as bad of a state as it seems.

Church Live Streaming

Not everybody knows that Sunday morning services are available online. However, those who know and attend are apparently a lot, since online worship services are doing really well these days. So exactly how profitable is church streaming?

7. 45% of Americans watched an online church service.

(Source: Lifeway Research) 

The information was obtained from a survey conducted in September 2021 of 1,005 Americans. All participants were asked if they watch church online and if they still attend church in person.

Among those 45% who have watched church services online, 30% normally attend church in person, while the other 15% don’t.

52% of respondents said they haven’t watched such a service even once. Interestingly, only 10% out of those normally attend church in person.

8. Americans with evangelical beliefs are most likely to watch online church services during the pandemic.

(Source: Lifeway Research) 

One of the biggest evangelical beliefs is that the Bible is the biggest authority. The other one would be citing Jesus Christ as one’s savior.

Americans with evangelical beliefs are three times more likely to claim they both watched church services online and still went to church in person.

9. 53% of people going to church watched more online services in 2020 than in 2019.

(Source: Lifeway Research) 

It’s when the pandemic started, so it’s unsurprising how online church numbers soared that year.

Many churches were closed as a result, so people resorted to other worship methods. In 2020, 21% of them even watched more of other churches’ services as well.

10. 53% of practicing Christians streamed their churches online.

(Source: Barna Group) 

Here, “practicing Christians” means those that go to church at least once a month and generally claim their faith is pretty important to them. Barna asked respondents if they streamed any church footage in the four weeks before the survey. 53% of them answered that they streamed their church online, 34% streamed a different one, and 32% did neither.

11. On the other side, just 40% of churched adults streamed their church online.

(Source: Barna Group) 

When we consider all religious adults, Christian or not, things become a bit different. Barna defines “churched adults” as those who went to church at least once in the past six months. So what’s the case here? 40% of respondents said they streamed their regular church online, only 23% streamed another one, and 48% didn’t stream any church video.

12. 96% of pastors live-streamed their services during the pandemic.

(Source: Barna Group) 

At first glance, the idea of a virtual church might sound really crazy. Churches and religion in general don’t always go hand in hand with technology. At least, technology definitely isn’t the first association one has when they hear “religion.” This appears to be changing, though. And it’s mostly because of the pandemic. During its harsh reign, almost all pastors shared their sermons online at least once. Who says live-streaming is for gaming and fun only?

13. 17 million Americans regularly visit church websites.

(Source: REACHRIGHT) 

Online church statistics are pretty unanimous on this subject—having an online presence is crucial even for churches. This is especially important in the US—even Americans that don’t go to a house of worship on a regular basis, visit church websites. An astounding 17 million of them did so, though if we also include YouTube church services, that number would be even higher.

14. 33% of parishioners discovered their church online.

(Source: Vimeo Livestream) 

You might have a hard time believing it but church websites are useful in many different scenarios. In this case, they’re even enough to encourage people to visit their local church. This apparently worked for one-third of parishioners!

15. Only 9% of survey respondents preferred online-only church service.

(Source: REACHRIGHT) 

The so-called hybrid church services are seemingly the most popular ones. 35% of survey participants liked both online and in-person church services.

Probably that’s why 21% of church leaders have a digital strategy for their institution. They even had such a strategy before the pandemic struck… talk about an innovative approach!

16. Almost one half of a Protestant group avoided attending church online.

(Source: Dacast) 

This stat only refers to one of the sample groups, mind you. Still, it shows that Protestants aren’t that open to this virtual church idea. Only 20% of them would rather watch a church service online, though they only did so once or twice. 16% watched such online streams three to five times, and 14% watched streams at least six times.

Church Revenue Statistics

Churches all around the world survive in most part thanks to donations and tithes. But how much money do people actually donate and is that enough in 2022? Let’s see:

17. 5% of all church-going adults tithe.

(Source: Vanco) 

Church giving statistics in 2022 (yes, there is such a thing) show there’s a lot of money involved with faith organizations. What gives? Probably tithing. 1.5 million Christian Americans tithe.

However, online churches and other faith organizations could gain an additional $139 billion every year if every single Christian would tithe…

18. 77% of all tithers give even more than 10% of their earnings.

(Source: Vanco) 

By definition, tithers are people that give 10% of their earnings to faith organizations. However, a lot of them give even more than that. The virtual church service made things even easier. The future seems brighter now since many tithers give their money to churches through the internet.

19. The average church-going adult gives $17 per week. 

(Source: Vanco) 

People are apparently pretty keen on giving money to churches. So exactly how many do they give? Church tithing statistics like this are surprising, as people donate money every week!

The $17 per week translates to around $73.67 per month, which comes to a whopping $884 per year!

20. More than $2.2 billion in church donations were raised online in a year.

(Source: OneStream) 

For the most part, people just aren’t able to go to church during the pandemic and donate money. They do, however, make plenty of donations through the internet. The existence of the internet seems to be more than enough to keep churches alive… for now.

21. American Christians make $5.2 trillion per year.

(Source: Vanco) 

US Christians are among the richer ones. The $5.2 trillion equals nearly half the income of all the Christians in the world!

That explains the roles the offline and the online church have in the American economy. Faith organizations receive even more donations than education-oriented ones.

22. 30% of all annual church donations in America happen in the month of December.

(Source: REACHRIGHT) 

Usually, people feel the most generous towards the end of the year. Church growth statistics suggest that almost a third of all US church donations arrive in December. It’s not just during the month, though, it’s particularly at the very end of the year. 10% of all annual donations in the US are made in the last three days of December!

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, faith always finds a way.

Even though this is not the best time for churches, many reach their flock through digital means like church site builders and webinar platforms. That helps them survive and become more profitable, as online church statistics indubitably show.

So, if you want to support your local church or just get closer to God, you can now do so online. The option of communicating with other churchgoers is still there, making it reminiscent of an in-person church experience.

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Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.