Trying to choose what to wear — Online church is convenient, relevant, and accessible.
It’s more than just a temporal holding place waiting for the church to reopen — it’s a gathering place where people can invest in one another and connect for the week ahead.
Online church is also a meaningful and flexible way to engage with your local congregation. As long as you have a computer, smartphone, or tablet, you can make it to church every week!
The online church has changed the way many people experience their faith, and it’s an absolutely wonderful thing.
If you’ve been wondering why well-attended online churches are growing in popularity, we asked some online churchgoers about what they loved about the online church experience:
Here is a recent study published on pewforum.org
Here are 20 reasons people love the online church.
After the shutdown due to the COVID-19, the online church was a band-aid to keep people engaged while they wait to re-open.
However, there are some churches that took the new kind of worship as an opportunity to innovate.
Table of contents
- Online church is less expensive to attend
- Many people feel more comfortable with online church
- There is no pressure to go to church if you are busy
- The online church allows you to worship your own way.
- People can attend online church from the comfort of their own home
- Online worship allows you to spend quality time with family
- You don't have to go to church if you don't want to
- People can connect with each other instantly.
- Technology allows me to take notes more efficiently.
- Online service allows you to share funnier moments with friends and family instantly.
- Some like how they can get reminders about upcoming sermons.
- You don’t have to attend church to enjoy a sermon.
- Listen to sermons online while working.
- Some people like how they can get the notes of a sermon right after the service.
- Some people like how they can download sermons
- Being able to make time for church, even when you work.
- You can sing along without someone looking at you.
- You can control the kids better
- With online church, you can take off if you have to
- Online church breaks down the barriers of distance
1. Online church is less expensive to attend
Online church is becoming more and more popular because it is less expensive to attend and has no mandatory dress code is required.
Who could have imagined that the freedom to wear whatever you want was the most common reason why people love the online church?
You can wear what you want, from pajamas to a business suit. You can carry on side conversations during the sermon or even go to another website while the sermon is going on and still be considered a part of the congregation. — Kathy
There are many reasons as you will see below why people love to attend online church over offline church.
But being able to wear whatever you want happens to be the most common reason. It means that you can show up to an online church in your pajamas if you want to.
And the idea that parents don’t have to spend hours getting their children dressed up is even more attractive to some.
2. Many people feel more comfortable with online church
When it comes to the offline church, it’s amazing to learn that the same this that should attract people to church is the same thing that drives them away.
The church is supposed to be inclusive and everyone is supposed to feel comfortable attending, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.
I would rather attend online church over offline church because there is no one to judge me. — Lulu.
Some people feel so much pressure when attending church. They have to watch how they dress, talk, walk and interact with others.
Even though everyone agrees that the church should have standards and some level of reverence, most people feel judged by other members.
The offline church can be intimidating, especially if you are new. You may feel like everyone is watching you and judging you, while the online church is a lot more relaxed. — Mike
3. There is no pressure to go to church if you are busy
There are many reasons why people feel pressured to go to church. Maybe you’re afraid of what people will think, or maybe you feel like you’ll be judged by the pastor if you don’t attend.
However, going to church doesn’t have to be a stressful thing. In fact, that’s one of the many benefits of the online church—there is no pressure to go if you are busy.
I work a lot and sometimes I go to church straight from my night shift. The online church works great for me because rather than dozing in church, I get to catch up when I have rested. — Prichard
Before the online church, we used to measure the success of the church by how many people attend the service. But is that’s not the case anymore.
With the internet, your success is measured by how many people reached whether they attend physically or virtually.
4. The online church allows you to worship your own way.
Churches have a reputation for being stuffy and formal, primarily catering to older members of a congregation. In contrast, online churches are informal and welcoming to everyone.
When you first visit, you won't be bombarded with queries about your religious beliefs or what you want to get out of it; rather, members will encourage you to simply “be yourself” and “enjoy what you enjoy.” — Mark
The church is a great example of what consistency and predictability should look like. The order of worship is the same week after week and people love that.
In fact, some people have issues whenever something is changed.
Even though the order of worship is important to the church, some people especially visitors find it to be stressful.
Every time I go to a new church, I always look around to see what others are doing. In order to fit in, I copy everything, so I don’t stand out. — Mercy
There is nothing wrong with the church implementing some order or traditions. It is a vital element to a great functioning church.
In fact, a church that does not have some order would be so disorderly that people wouldn’t take it seriously.
That’s why the online church is great because it allows everyone to attend without feeling judged.
5. People can attend online church from the comfort of their own home
Before the COVID-19, the only way one could attend church was by being there physically. Now, one doesn’t have to be physically able to attend church.
With online churches, people can attend church from the comfort of their own home, whenever they want. (Online church services can be as long or short as you want them to be, and are available 24/7.) — Carol
The freedom to worship from the comfort of your homes is not free from issues.
We asked a couple to tell us what they loved about the online church experience. It was amazing to see how a couple would have these opposing points.
While the husband loved the experience, the wife didn’t. She didn’t like the many distractions at home when still had to run around doing house chores.
And there's no reason you have to stick with one congregation either; online churches can link you up with churches across the country so you can worship with people in your area, too. — Martha
It is clear that people have mixed feelings about church online but one thing for sure is that we cannot ignore people that support it.
6. Online church allows you to spend quality time with family
We are so busy, with school, jobs, children, and social lives, that finding time to spend with our families is harder than ever. — Mandy and Keith
But with an online church, you can spend quality time with your family without having to leave home.
Instead of traveling to the church building, you can get together from the comfort of your own home.
Think of all the time you'll save by not having to get dressed up, drive to church, listen to the sermon, and drive home again! — Kenya
7. You don't have to go to church if you don't want to
Before we get started, I want to make one thing clear:
I am not saying you don't have to go to church. If you don’t want to go to church, then don’t go! We all have our own reasons for why we do what we do, and I am not here to judge you. However, if you want to get the most out of your relationship with your church, there are some things you should know about the online church that can help you enjoy your time there more than ever. — May
The decision of whether to go to church is a personal one, and it’s not one that you should make for anyone else.
No one should pressure you into going to church, whether it’s your parents, your spouse, or (especially) your children.
Going to church is a decision that you should make for yourself, and there are several benefits to online church that you should consider.
For those times when you don’t feel like going to church, there’s an online church service waiting for you.
8. People can connect with each other instantly.
All people, regardless of age or gender, enjoy connecting with other people and sharing life experiences.
The online church allows people to do this instantly, connect with people in their area, or connect with people in other countries.
Over the past year, I have met and made friends with people I would have never met if it wasn’t for the church zoom meetings. — Rita
9. Technology allows me to take notes more efficiently.
People enjoy the flexibility of taking notes online during church or other religious services.
It’s especially helpful for people who are hearing impaired. In a traditional church setting, note-taking is frowned upon, and most churches don’t provide any technology or tools to help their congregants.
“It’s challenging for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to follow the sermon,” says Yvette, a long-time churchgoer whose hearing impairment has worsened with age. “Without the sermon notes, it’s very hard.”
10. Online service allows you to share funnier moments with friends and family instantly.
For some people, the benefits of an online church over an offline church are obvious: you don’t have to put on pants, there’s no chance of getting stuck in traffic, and you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot, or even driving.
For others, online churches hold no interest at all. Your personal preferences may depend on the specifics of your local religious community.
But you may still find yourself wondering why some people like how they can share funnier moments with friends and family instantly.
I love experiencing church with my family. We get to process the sermon together enjoying the funnier moments together and shouting Amen when we agree. That would be considered noise and annoying at church. — Brenda
11. Some like how they can get reminders about upcoming sermons.
From the outside, an online church looks like a perfect setup for those who don’t like church.
It’s an easy way to do church from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas, with no pressure to dress up—in other words, everything that is not the church.
But there are actually some real benefits to online church. For one, it gives people something they may not get from a traditional church:
Reminders about upcoming sermons and events.
In-person churches can’t send out e-mails, texts, or tweets to remind you that such-and-such a sermon is happening this Sunday. People take it that you are not committed when you miss something. — Greg
It’s amazing how something as simple as a reminder can improve your church experience.
12. You don’t have to attend church to enjoy a sermon.
In the offline church, missing a sermon means losing out. However, sermons are recorded online and you can still listen to them later when you have time.
There’s a reason why Bibles are mass-produced. They give people the power to read any time, anywhere. The church should be like that and I that we are a step closer with the online church. — Paul
Life happens and when it does, most of us are not able to go to church. Thank God that we no longer miss out just because we couldn’t physically attend church.
13. Listen to sermons online while working.
Online churches offer many things over traditional churches, and one of the most popular things is the ability for members to listen to sermons online when they are at work.
This means members do not have to miss out on the message. While many people think sitting in a church for an hour is boring, most people do not have the time to sit and listen to a sermon anyway.
I am a nurse and my schedule is four days on and three days off. That means I can only attend church twice a month. Online church allows me to listen in while I take a break at work. — Martha.
14. Some people like how they can get the notes of a sermon right after the service.
I love taking notes during the service, but the problem is that you can only take traditional paper and pen notes otherwise people would think you’re on your phone during the sermon. — Maya
Taking notes during the sermon is a very old tradition that a lot of people do. Some do it for review later and others out of habit. But whatever the reason, taking notes was important enough to make it on this list.
I love the fact that my Pastor allows us to download his sermon notes before or during the sermon. This makes it easier for me to follow along as he preaches. In a case where I miss the sermon, the notes are also a great resource for self-study. — Maya
15. Some people like how they can download sermons
Some people like how they can download sermons, other people prefer to listen to them online.
Here are some ways that people can download sermons:
- Church website — The preacher can upload his sermons to a church website
- Youtube — A church can upload its sermons to YouTube or social media to allow people to share.
- Podcast — A church can have a podcast, which is an audio file, and they can upload sermons to it.
16. Being able to make time for church, even when you work.
Working a lot doesn't mean you have to leave your Christian faith behind. If you attend an online church, you can be a member of a church virtually any time you want—and there are some benefits to that.
Online church lets you get back to the basics of Christianity in a way that can be helpful and refreshing.
A lot of churches don't allow phones, television, or any other distractions during services.
You also get to connect with other church members virtually. Online church is also beneficial because you can listen to sermons when it's convenient for you.
17. You can sing along without someone looking at you
We've all been there, you're in church, quietly singing along to your favorite worship song, you're getting into it, not caring that nobody else can see you singing, and suddenly someone starts watching you.
They lean over and say, “hey that key is for the other song.”
It's awkward, you try to carry on but you end up not being able to look at them.
Thankfully this won't happen online, as there is no one around to be watching you.
I remember the first time I tried to sing along to a song at church (you know, the one where you put your hand up in the air and jump up and down). I was so nervous that I ended up looking at my shoe the whole time. Turns out I was not alone. — Mark
Amazing how we take simple things for granted, and yet they bother other members to the point they stop coming to church.
Thank God that we are now streaming our church services online to allow everyone to enjoy God’s gift to us.
18. You can control the kids better
There are many reasons people attend church. Some people will tell you they go to church for the fellowship, but I’m not convinced that’s always the case.
Others will tell you they go to church for the food (and you’ll find no argument here).
However, the most common reason many people share is that they want their kids to grow upright. But if you are a parent, you know how difficult it is to get your kids to behave in church.
We never attended church during the first five years of our marriage because our daughter would not sit quietly in church. We didn’t have an online church then to we missed out. — Charity
It is important for kids to go to church and parents have to try everything possible to help their children feel comfortable at church.
However, there are kids that just won’t behave especially if the church does not have a good children’s program.
In those instances, you would be happy attending church online because it will allow both you and your child to learn something.
The online church has some great benefits that you can't get from a physical church. The church service will never run late, you can always hear the pastor, and you can even set your own alarm clock. With no one telling you what to do, the online church allows you to focus on the worship service and not the unruly children that distracted and annoyed you in the pews. — Prince
19. With online church, you can take off if you have to
Many people have a desire to attend church but are unable to travel to a building to be a part of a congregation.
For example, someone may choose not to attend church because they may leave before the service is over.
Online church is convenient. You don't have to get dressed, you can worship in your pajamas if you want to, and you don't have to worry about missing the service because you are stuck in traffic. — Justin
Online church isn't a replacement for traditional face-to-face church. But it does have several benefits that make it worth checking out—especially if you're already a churchgoer.
With online church, you can go at any time, from anywhere. With most online churches using a live video feed of an actual church service, you can take off if you have to—and still catch all the church you need. — Melinda
20. Online church breaks down the barriers of distance
During the pandemic lockdown, some churches have experienced massive growth in their church service attendance.
I know a church that was planning to build a bigger building to accommodate the church growth they were anticipating before the lockdown.
But the plans were put on hold due to the pandemic. However, they put some extra money into their digital ministry, and the results were simply amazing.
For the first time, the church was getting hundreds of first-time visitors from around the world.
Amazingly they were also getting thousands of old members tuning into their live streams.
They soon discovered that what they needed was not a bigger church building but a better online church experience, and so they started investing in new digital equipment.
The truth is that people migrate from one place to another and if it wasn’t for the distance, they’d prefer to attend their old community church.
Fortunately, the internet gives us the ability to attend any church service we want. We are no longer contained by proximity.
I left my home country over 30 years ago and now I am able to enjoy church service with my people. It’s always great to see people I grew up with and the services are always emotional for me. — Eve
You may be wondering why we went out and asked people what they loved about the online church experience and the answer is simple.
First, it is important to acknowledge that our worship experience is forever changed with the introduction of online churches.
Before the pandemic, the Delmethod was advocating for digital evangelism and many Christians did not see the need, and so they did not take it seriously.
We also talked to a lot of people who had left the church and were searching for some digital solution to offline church.
To answer the question, here are three reasons why
1. Before the pandemic, you already had a lot of people consuming the gospel 100% online and those will continue even after the lockdown is lifted.
2. You have a group that has discovered and enjoying the new way of worship, and so they too will continue to do so after the pandemic.
3. It is important to know what people love about the online church experience so you can try to replicate it in the offline church.
On the other side of the pandemic, the most successful churches will be those that make online churches a part of their main church service.
Knowing what’s working and what's not will help you and your team to reach and connect with your members and your newfound online members across the world better.
We hope that you found this information helpful. We hide some personal information about the people we interviewed for privacy reasons.
If the information here does not sound accurate, we advise you to do your own research with your church members.
The question we asked everyone was, “when it comes to your online church experience, what is the greatest benefit to you?”
If you need more information about the best way to conduct a survey, please download the DelMethod Blueprint here.
We also have another article that answers the question, “will people return to church after the COVID-19?” Please check it out to help you prepare for the world after the pandemic.
If you find this information helpful, please consider sharing it or leave us a comment below.
Thank you and God bless.
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A Family enjoying quality time during online church service