Communion tops list of what worshipers missed during COVID closures
Barna reported 24% of churchgoers said they missed taking communion while many churches halted in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It topped the list of what churchgoers missed, followed by socializing with others before and after services (23%), listening to a live sermon (21%), and the chance to connect with like-minded people (19%).
Barna also found Easter 2021 was an opportunity for many churches to test drive a hybrid worship model combining in-person and online options. A large majority of churches planned to hold in person services with COVID precautions (80%) and livestream services online (71%).
Church members fall below majority in U.S.
Only 47% of Americans are members of a church, synagogue or mosque, Gallup reported March 29, meaning the percentage of church members has fallen below the majority for the first time in at least 80 years. Researchers pointed to two trends driving the decline: a growing number of adults with no religious preference, and lower membership rates among those who do have a religion.
“Unless we want to be a regional group of Christians who only talk to ourselves,” Wheaton College’s Ed Stetzer told Baptist Press, “we’ll need to redouble our efforts in evangelism and church planting to engage an increasingly secular context.”
Most Illinoisans support parental notice act
A new survey shows most Illinoisans don’t support a measure to repeal Illinois’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act that was introduced in the General Assembly’s spring legislative. According to The Tarrance Group, 72% of Illinoisians agree or strongly agree if a minor were seeking an abortion “the law should require her parent or guardian to be notified before the procedure.” When those surveyed were asked, “If a minor is seeking an abortion, do you believe a parent or guardian should be notified?” just 22% replied “no” or “strongly no.”
Southern Baptists minister at the border
The current crisis at the U.S./Mexico border is “three times worse than last time,” said Pastor Carlos Navarro, whose West Brownsville Baptist Church has helped more than 8,200 migrants since 2019. The church provides people seeking U.S. asylum with Bibles, food, clothing, and more. More than 3,000 people have prayed to receive Christ through the church’s ministry, Baptist Press reports.
Sources: Barna Research, Gallup, Baptist Press, ERLC, Illinois Baptist