Barna Study: 15% of Christians are ‘Multitasking’ while Streaming Worship Services

We reported last week that almost half of all Christians whose pastors are not having in-person or drive-in services are also not attending online services on Sunday.

New polling by the Barna Group shows a rather surprising reality. 48% of churchgoers say they have not watched any church online in the last 4 weeks. Only 40% of churchgoers report watching their regular home church online. 23% said they streamed a different church (either in place of their regular church or in addition to their regular church.)

In that same survey which has now officially been published, Barna group is reporting that, as you’d expect, people’s level of attentiveness during worship and even the entire service has dramatically decreased. From the study, we read:

  1. 64% of Christians say they still pray along with prayers.
  2. 42% of households watching services together at the same time.
  3. 40% of Christians sing along with worship.
  4. 15% “admit that attending online services offers opportunity for them to multitask while the service is streaming”
  5. 13% are “commenting” and interacting with other people watching the service.

Ignoring any references to “Non-practicing Christians” as that’s just another word for “Pagan Christ-haters”, the survey shows that these online services are scattered, distracted messes that bad breed behaviors which completely warp the Christian’s sense of how they ought to participate in a corporate church setting. The picture being painted is not a pretty one:

Kicking back in one’s pajamas with a bowl of cereal in front of you, watching the service whenever you want; either your own pastor or another feed. The family is off doing their own thing and may or may watch at a later date, streaming the worship but not participating, or perhaps muting the worship for a second so you can quickly check something on Facebook while “Oceans” or “Lord reign in me” plays silently in the background. You unmute when the pastor starts his message but minimize the screen so you can read the news in a new tab or window as he’s rattling on about something or other from Romans 4, chatting in the sidebar with whatever friends are watching, offering the occasional joke or commentary in response to a portion of the pastor’s sermon.

For a lot of Christians,- not all, but some- their ‘church’ looks exactly like that.


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