Many families are less engaged with their church since the pandemic, according to new research.
The study by Liverpool Hope University and the National Institute for Christian Education Research (NICER) found that Sunday morning church attendance has become “less of a priority” for families, while faith nurturing at home has improved.
The research found that engagement with church had fallen in 40% of families surveyed.
“Considering that the willingness of these families to respond to the survey indicates that they are likely to be more engaged than average, it is concerning to see that a significant proportion of the participants have decreased church engagement over pandemic times,” the report said.
This finding was confirmed by responses from church leaders, around half (48%) of whom reported families in their congregation now engaging less than they did before the pandemic.
When it came to resources to nurture family faith during the pandemic, the study uncovered “striking” differences in perceptions between church leaders and families.
Many families felt unsupported and under-resourced by their churches during the pandemic.
Two thirds of church leaders felt they had supported families in their faith at home during the pandemic, but this fell to half (49%) of parents who agreed.
A quarter (24%) of church leaders did not know if families in their church felt supported in nurturing faith at home.
Some 40% of parents surveyed said that the local church does not provide resources to support their child’s faith.
Only 2% of parents said that worksheets and activities provided by their local church during the pandemic had been beneficial.
Despite this, most parents (88%) want the church to provide or signpost them to specific activities and resources to equip their family for their own spiritual growth.
Read full article here
(c) The Christian Today, used with permission.