This week marks a full year of Livestream worship. Passing this important milestone we have been looking at trends and averages from the past year. Over the past year Zoom logins per week averaged 142. Since that only counts individual emails and phone numbers, you can take the average times 1.5 or 2 to include spouses, kids and others who may be watching in each household (213-284). Since October 11 people have come in-person to worship in limited numbers. The average of everyone in worship “live” including congregants, musicians and tech folk each week is 26. The rough estimate of how many people regularly worship by watching the posts of the service on Face Book and Vimeo each week is about 50. In other words, the total average weekly participation in worship is currently somewhere between 300-350+.
To put that in some perspective currently less that 10% who are participating in worship are “live” in the sanctuary on any given week. 90% are participating through Livestream or watching at a more convenient time. Previously the only statistic we reported for attendance was the number of people in the building at the time of worship on Sunday morning. That average in 2019, the last full year of in-person services, was 242 each week.
In the Annual Meeting last Sunday someone asked, “When are we going to go back to two services?” Certainly, difference in musical preferences and styles needs to be honored. But 50-100 people more are participating in one service which is simulcast and recorded weekly, verses total participation in two in-person services. This drastic increase in participation also needs to be honored.
Of course, the pandemic is the reason we have been forced to reconsider how, when and where we worship. How many will still watch on Livestream when they have an option of coming safely on Sunday? How many will still watch on Livestream or something else entirely given more options on Sunday morning? How long will it take to return to an in-person average anywhere close to 2019? Will in-person attendance be enough to support two services? How much is enough? If we Livestream two services of different styles would it appeal to even more people online?
As we think about these questions, Dale put together a great retrospective of the evolution of our livestream in the past year. Think where we have come in a year and where we might be a year from now. Here’s the link in case you missed it https://vimeo.com/529008971