LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Churches are rebounding on holidays like Easter after making adjustments to traditional services throughout the pandemic. WFXR took a look at how services have changed over the past few years and what churchgoers can expect to see in the future.

Dr. Owen Cardwell has been pastor at the Diamond Hill Baptist Church for two years, he says church attendance has been a significant topic within ministries.

“It used to be that if you attended every Sunday you were considered to be a regular member. Now, about twice a month is what the average person does,” said Dr. Cardwell.

However, Dr. Cardwell adds that he has seen more people coming back post-pandemic.

“There’s more and more increase of people feeling comfortable about being in public venues again,” said Dr. Cardwell.

Reverend Matt Rhodes from St. Stephens Episcopal Church says holidays such as Easter and Christmas usually have a higher turnout. He adds that he believes after the pandemic people are eager to get together.

“To see the faces of parishioners and new families — the smiles, the joy in their face, and just knowing that prudence and caution during the pandemic allowed us to get back together,” said Rhodes.

Both Dr. Cardwell and Rhodes say although it was challenging, there have been some beneficial changes to come out of the pandemic.

“We’ve added, though, live streaming. We live stream on both our Facebook page and on YouTube,” Dr. Cardwell said.

Rhodes also streams services and says that they are actually able to reach more people than they did pre-Covid.

“Not only were we able to reach people who were members of the congregation and not able to gather during covid, but we were reaching people not even in the Lynchburg or Bedford area,” said Rhodes.

To encourage involvement in the church, both Dr. Cardwell and Rhodes say focusing on community involvement is often the best way to build attendance.

“There’s much more emphasis on outreach now and on the more non-traditional things like mentoring and those things,” said Dr. Cardwell.

“People don’t necessarily want to launch right into a church through the front door, but they’ll come in through the side door, the back door, and look for some of those ways that they can feel involved in the community,” said Rhodes.

Both The Diamond Hill Baptist Church and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church are involved with different community organizations. You can visit their websites to learn more if you want to get involved.