According to a recent study by Lifeway Research titled "State of Theology", Americans have changed their perspective when it comes to worship in church and other practices after the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Worship Outside the Church
In the article by Lifeway Research, it said that its State of Theology Study focused on questions about worship with a congregation, how they view theology today, and how it intertwined with recent issues. The study, sponsored by Ligonier Ministries, had 3,000 respondents.
The study showed that in 2022, 66% of Americans now believe that "believe worshiping apart from a local congregation is as valid as worshiping with one." The previous study of the organization in 2020 had the same question which garnered a lesser percentage of 58%.
In connection to it, the organization also came to the conclusion that a majority of Americans now even have the belief that joining a local organization is not a necessity.
Notably, the study also revealed that there are people who, even if they believe in God, have questions when it comes to divinity and the Holy Trinity.
People who believe in the Trinitarian God believe that God exists within three equal personalities namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
American Christians on Theology with Politics and Other Issues
The study also showed a slight rise in people with the opinion that Christians should be silent on political issues.
There was also a rise in the number of people saying that "gender identity is a matter of choice." As for homosexuality, Americans are still split about condemnation.
What is Lifeway Research
According to its page, it says that Lifeway Research is an evangelical research firm that assists and requests churches with insight and advice to improve church health and effectiveness.
It holds surveys that are focused on revealing recent dynamics when it comes to church and the ever-evolving culture.
Scott McConnell sits as the current Executive Director of Lifeway Research. He has been with the organization for 25 years and is an experienced academic and project manager.
Apart from McConnell, the firm also has Daniel Price as its Statistician and Kevin Walker as Research Associate.
COVID-19 and the Church
Christianity Today reported on the effects of Covid-19 on the churches in the country. The report said that because of the pandemic, there were plenty of churches that had to close permanently.
As for the people, at the start of the outbreak in 2020, about one in three Christians left their churches. Even with the decline, the study pointed out that ideology appeared to be not the main factor in the decline as it was a common trend among conservatives, liberals, and moderates.
However, it pointed out that compared to other racial groups, Black Americans were more likely to stop attending.
The article also featured a response by Pastor Mike Meshaw who has served the Grace Church in Greenville, North Carolina for more than two decades.
He said that the people needed what he called "pastoral care ministry." He explained that it was up to the pastors to do their part to keep in touch with their congregations by any means.
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