Many of you will remember that when giving my Statistician’s Report at Annual Conference, I’ve sometimes joked that ushers count noses, and preachers tend to count nostrils when reporting worship attendance. Well, with the pandemic, we are doubly challenged when it comes to knowing how to report online worship attendance. Many have asked, how do we count? I would guess the average pastor, including me, or usher is not an expert with YouTube, Facebook, etc. when it comes to the inner workings of these resources.
While leading worship over the years, I was not always leading: The choir was singing, or someone was reviewing announcements. At such times I could notice that people were coming and going for various reasons. If an usher was counting during this time, he or she might miss one of those who had just vacated or arrived in the worship space. This happens online each Sunday also. What to do?
The online resource your church uses to stream worship probably provides data about numbers of people watching as online “views.” The question we must ask is, how long are they viewing or visiting your service? Facebook might report a hit if that person was only “there” for a second or two!
Below, you’ll find a couple of links that will help us. Pass this along to your “streaming team.” It seems that once you and your team have determined the suitable number of hits you have for a given week, you can reliably multiply that number by 1.7 to establish a reasonable average attendance for that week. Even better, if you can determine the correct ratio for your congregation, your stats will be more accurate.
We hope this helps. Call me if you have any questions. God Bless!