More than a year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church is beginning to reopen in the United States. This process has been uneven, with many cities still under significant restrictions while others are able to operate with relatively minor accommodations. At the center of this season of reopening is the pressing need for churches to gain clarity on the state of their membership. While online services and ministries have offered a necessary lifeline of connection, the rapid change and inherent disconnectedness of the pandemic has produced a season of uncertainty. How are churches in the United States fairing in terms of membership, attendance, and giving? How are pastors navigating the new pressures of reopening after over a year of unprecedented challenges?
The National COVID-19 Church Attendance Project (NCCAP) represents an effort to answer these questions as we track church reopening. In partnership with Wheaton College, Exponential, and Outreach, the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center surveyed more than 600 churches representing over 400,000 weekly worshippers from 47 states and the District of Colombia.