10 Major Church Trends to Watch in 2023

Sometimes it can feel impossible to see what's coming next in the church world. The last three years have brought change after change – and churches have adapted. If you're ready to see what's next for churches in 2023, you've come to the right place! We'll cover major church trends to watch in 2023 so you can remain a resilient pillar for your community.

6 minutes read
10 Major Church Trends to Watch in 2023

The last three years have completely changed the landscape of running a church. Between the pandemic, social changes, increased technology, and a more modern mindset, churches have had to adapt quickly to survive.

2023 will be another year full of church challenges and opportunities. In this article, we’ll outline ten future church trends we predict will be very important in 2023 and moving into 2024. Keeping an eye on these trends will help your church stay on track through the trials and successes to come.

Let’s dive in!

10 Major Church Trends in 2023

1. A hybrid church model is still necessary.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many churches pivoted to online-only services. But as in-person services became possible again, churches found themselves with a new challenge – maintaining their online audience while nurturing those who want to attend in person.

Churches that went back to only providing in-person services saw a 15.7% drop in weekly attendance. And those that only offered online services saw a drop in attendance of 7.3%. But the churches that continued to offer both in-person and online services saw an attendance growth of 4.5%. (Source)

As people enjoy the continued flexibility of working from home and attending virtual events, they’re going to continue looking for multiple ways to worship. That’s why it’s so important for churches to develop their hybrid church model, if they haven’t already, or revamp their existing church technology model to offer even more dynamic content.

Check out our guide to adopting a hybrid church model for tips on how to get started!

2. Online donations will continue to grow.

The days of passing the offering plate – and it coming back filled with cash – are behind us. With the uptick in contactless payment options, it’s easier than ever to pay for goods without any cash, and people have simply stopped carrying it.

It’s time to modernize with sleek, easy online tithing and offerings. That’s where Donorbox can help. Thousands of churches use Donorbox to make sure they capture every possible donation.

Donorbox helps churches with a dedicated pillar called Donorbox MinistryMatters. You can create customizable online donation forms that you can either embed on your website or host on Donorbox. Your church can collect in-person tithes and offerings with Text-to-Give, QR codes, the Donorbox Live™ Kiosk app, and more. We also let you boost your donations and outreach with crowdfunding and peer-to-peer options. And if your church holds events, we enable you to easily boost ticket sales with Donorbox Events.

Take a look at what Donorbox MinistryMatters has to offer your church –

Accept Online Tithes and Offerings with Donorbox!

Harnessing all possible donations will be key to surviving 2023, so it’s vital to have the best fundraising tools in your toolbox.

3. Once-a-month worshipers will hang around.

In 2023, we’ll follow the attendance trends laid out over the last couple of years, with one important change.

The number of people who never attend church will continue to increase from its current rate of 57%. Weekly attendance is projected to continue to drop even below the 20% of Americans who report attending every week. (Source)

But interestingly enough, the number of people who attend church about once a month will remain steady. This means you have an opportunity for connection during those sessions, and you should increase your efforts to connect with each and every person who steps through your doors or hops on your Zoom service.

Church connection cards, especially digital ones, are a great way to make an impression.

4. It’s a good time for a capital campaign.

Despite its challenges, 2023 is a good year to consider launching a capital campaign for your church for a couple of reasons.

Many churches are experiencing a make-or-break moment with their building and infrastructure, in part due to putting off major repairs during the pandemic. This infrastructure crisis makes for a compelling ask from your community.

People want to be involved in the future of your church, and asking them to participate in your capital campaign is a great way for them to do that. This will help them feel reconnected with your church community – and they can feel good that they’ve accomplished something!

Crowdfunding is an excellent way to build a community around your capital campaign. Donorbox Crowdfunding can help you get started easily with a fully customizable campaign page, a popup donation form, an “updates” tab to help you keep donors posted, and a virtual donor wall as social proof. Your campaign visitors will also be able to subscribe to your campaign updates with a button. There’s more, and each feature aims at boosting your donations and outreach with the campaign.

Check out how Pioneers Church is accepting online donations via a Donorbox-hosted crowdfunding page to meet its goals of launching a new church.

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5. More people are looking for nondenominational churches.

Churches that subscribe to specific denominations are seeing a big decline in attendance, while newer, non-denominational churches are seeing booms in attendance.

And nondenominational churches will continue to grow. Since 2010, more than 6,000 nondenominational churches have been created – accounting for 6.5 million people in attendance. (Source)

This means you should consider your church’s denomination. What value does it bring? How can you better demonstrate that value to your existing congregation or curious new members? Your answers will help guide your strategy.

6. Millennials are coming back.

Millennials have had an interesting relationship with church and religion. They were more likely to avoid attending church due to church leadership scandals, ongoing political turmoil, and a lack of progressive social values.

But one future church trend has Millennials returning to the church to find stability and community. Already, 39% of Millennials report attending church regularly – as opposed to 21% in 2019. (Source)

This is in part due to offering hybrid church services. Millennials are more comfortable committing to church when they can do it from home. Think about how you can beef up your hybrid offerings to steward this boost in attendance for the long haul.

And as you offer a hybrid experience for your millennial members, make sure you also modernize your on-site giving. This can be achieved with a giving kiosk at your church. Donorbox Live™ Kiosk app helps turn your iPad or Android tablet into a giving or donation kiosk in a matter of a few minutes and you can connect it with a Stripe card reader device to accept donations. Your young members will love the convenience of tapping, dipping, or swiping their credit/debit cards or using their digital wallets to make a swift cashless donation.

Donorbox Live™ Kiosk - Learn More!

7. Congregants are looking for more church leadership diversity.

Diversity in race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and ideology will continue to be an attractive church leadership feature, particularly among younger congregants.

And this is something church leaders want, too! 9 out of 10 American Protestant pastors report that all churches should try to become more racially diverse.

Although we aren’t seeing a lot of progress with church leadership being diversified, it will continue to be a trend moving through 2023 and beyond.

8. Creating new, personalized content will be vital to maintaining audiences.

2023 will see a rise in church attendees looking for new kinds of content and a fresh dose of content on the mediums you’re already using.

Younger generations are especially interested in seeing user-generated content – i.e., content made by other people who attend their church. This helps them feel connected to your church, especially if they can recognize themselves in the content they see – a phenomenon known as social proof.

Pro tip: Personalized communication will be the key to making your church content go further. The best way to personalize content is to practice email segmenting for different versions of your church newsletter. Donorbox can help segment your church supporter data with strong donor management features. Simply filter the data and pull your unique list for a more targeted communication approach. You can also get donor reports from Donorbox.

segmenting donor data on donorbox

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9. Doing good in the community is the key to Gen Z.

Generation Z has been even more hesitant to join churches than Millennials, but there are a few key things they’re looking for in their religious life.

The short answer: they want their churches to actively make their communities a better place. Specifically, 77% of Gen Z responders are looking for churches that help poor people; and 69% are looking for churches that provide opportunities to help their communities. (Source)

This is an amazing opportunity to connect with this new generation of churchgoers – and possibly revamp your volunteer program in the meantime!

10. Volunteer numbers will continue to decline.

The pandemic resulted in a huge hit to church volunteering numbers, as in-person volunteering wasn’t possible. Since several church volunteers were parts of older generations, they’ve since aged out – and younger generations are less likely to step up to fill those roles.

This important church support system has struggled ever since – and it looks like church volunteering will continue to decline. In fact, only 38% of people report volunteering for their church, which is down from 44% before the pandemic. (Source)

Now is a great time to revamp your volunteer program with exciting new opportunities. Start by organizing a day of service aimed at getting younger generations involved. This will reintroduce the idea of volunteering to them – and encourage them to keep up the community-building through more regular church volunteer roles.


Churches have experienced a unique set of challenges over the last three years, and these trends show us that we’re not out of the woods yet. However, there are many reasons to be optimistic and proactive about making your church even better!

These church attendance trends show us that a thriving church in 2023 will need to depend on both loyal, regular attendance and find new ways to entice younger generations to attend – and stick around.

Trends in church giving suggest that online giving will soon become even more important than it already is. Donorbox is here to help your church thrive in 2023 with comprehensive church fundraising tools to collect tithes, offerings, capital campaign donations, and more. Our dedicated pillar, Donorbox MinistryMatters, will help grow church giving and ensure that funds keep flowing to your church!

Sign up to start fundraising for your church today!

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Lindsey Baker

Lindsey spent years wearing many hats in the nonprofit world. Whether she was helping arts nonprofits with their messaging and content, planning a fundraising gala, writing an NEA grant proposal, or running a membership program with over 400 members, she learned how to navigate – and appreciate! – the fast-paced world of fundraising. Now, she loves sharing those hard-earned lessons with the Donorbox community.

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