by Val Harlynn, Associate for Communications

Online Worship Attendance

This week the churchwide organization release a tool to help measure online worship attendance.

ELCA Guidelines for Worship Attendance

Measuring attendance when providing online worship is confusing, as are the data that social media and video platform provide. I have seen lots of reports that online worship attendance has been up! That’s a great thing, people are able to join on new schedules, or their own schedules, and families are able to gather in new ways.

I will offer a bit of caution when looking at the number of views a video has, it’s reach, or whatever other terminology the platform is using to show you data. Just remember these are large companies that profit from ad revenue and the personal and organizational data that we put online. They have a vested interest in showing you good numbers to keep you on their platform.

Warnings aside, I recommend looking at a couple of articles to help understand the data:


Zoom Meeting Tools and Tips

Many people are using Zoom for meetings, social hours, and even virtual coffee hours. There a few features in Zoom you can activate to improve your Zoom capabilities. These tools are available on free accounts.

Breakout Rooms: this is a way to move participants into smaller video chat rooms to have a conversation as a smaller group. For instance, you can break 20 people into 5 rooms of 4 people at the end of the discussion time you can come back together as a big group.  You can either assign people randomly or choose who goes into what group. These are great for a bit of socializing or some guided discussion. See the Zoom Tutorial on Breakout Rooms

Mute everyone with a keyboard shortcut!: The host of a meeting can hit Alt+M on a Windows computer or ⌘Cmd+Ctrl+M to mute everyone on the call at once. You don’t need to see the list, or mute people individually. See a full list of keyboard shortcuts

Connectivity issues: If someone in your meeting has a slow or weak network connection encourage people to turn off their video and switch to audio-only for a bit. This decreases the bandwidth they need to participate. You miss out on seeing them but they can still be in the meeting.


If you have any other virtual meeting questions, want help with social media, online data, or just to chat, stop by the

Communications Q&A
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00 pm
Join online via Zoom  (link the same for Tues. and Thurs. each week and won’t be live until the meeting time)

or email me, [email protected]


Disclaimer: links, articles, tools, and blog posts shared are not necessarily an endorsement from the Office of Bishop. They are merely a sharing of resources and news. 


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