What benefits can someone get from going to church?
CHURCH CONNECTS US WITH GOD
There is something reverent about simply being inside a church. It gives us a physical space to connect and draw closer to God and to realize that there is something out there bigger than ourselves.
Plus entering a house of worship, we’re instantly elevated to a state where we’re opening ourselves to God and trying to understand his message. The simple act of walking in the door brings you closer. Ultimately, that connection with God is strengthened and reinforced by church attendance. We’re making time for God and physically allowing him into our lives by attending a place of worship.
CHURCH GIVES US A CHANCE TO REFLECT ON GRATITUDE
By practicing gratitude, we can reframe negative or frustrating situations into learning opportunities. Gratitude helps us to realize how blessed we are and how much we truly have. Even when things seem dire and awful (say, your husband lost his job, your child is sick, or a loved one passes away), church helps us change our outlook and stop dwelling on empty questions like, “Why is this happening to me?”
Church can help us realize the things we do have, even when we feel lost. For example, we may have access to modern medical care for our sick child, a network of people to support and help our spouse during a job search, or memories and lessons we hold on to from our time with our loved one, as well as the prospect of reuniting with them in heaven. Even if it’s hard to see the blessings at the moment, attending church can help us open our hearts and eyes to see the things we have.
CHURCH CONNECTS US SOCIALLY
A more peripheral benefit of church attendance is the way it connects us socially. This is especially true if you have recently moved to a new town, or even just a new neighborhood. As a general rule, church people are pretty friendly, and most churches have a variety of social events, groups, clubs, and connection opportunities available each week. If you’re struggling to meet people or to make friends, this is the place to do it!
CHURCH HELPS US BETTER CONNECT WITH OUR SPOUSE
Not everyone is on the same page as his or her spouse when it comes to faith. However, couples who attend church together report higher levels of happiness and satisfaction within their marriage. Why is that? Church reconnects us to our shared beliefs. It reinforces the higher philosophy and purpose behind marriage and family and it allows us a safe space to connect with God and our spouse together.
Couples who attend church together are making time to reiterate the important foundations of their marriage. When you got married, you pledged to love and support each other. When you commune with God at church on Sundays, you’re reminded of your pledge and your connection is reinforced.
Praying and worshiping in the church pews allows us to experience moments of reverence and peace.
CHURCH ALLOWS US TO FEEL REVERENCE
In the chaos of every day, do you ever long for peace, quiet and reverence? When we attend church, we’re transported to a place of worship and peace. I’m always amazed at the peaceful feeling that washes over me the moment I walk into the building. It’s a place of calm and a place of joy.
Attending church can help us revisit this revered state regularly. It gives us a space to pray and to express humility and gratitude. It allows us to feel at peace and gives us respite from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.
CHURCH PROVIDES PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES TO GIVE BACK
Most Christian churches offer some type of charity work and assistance for their communities and other areas of need around the world. Through our faith, we’ve been able to visit and help communities around the world, as well as locally in a variety of ways.
Church offers an opportunity to donate our time and money to causes we believe in. We can also help out through organizations who share the same values and want to share God’s Grace and love with those in need. We’re so blessed to live full lives with so much opportunity, safety and freedom. So many people in the world live in poverty and pain, and through our faith, we can help bring them comfort and help.
CHURCH HELPS US “FIND THE LESSON” IN OUR TRIALS
A friend of mine was recently struggling because, try as she might, she and her husband couldn’t get to stable financial ground. It made her heartsick to have to work full-time when she was desperately longing to stay home with her young child. She said, “I’m having such a hard time figuring out what I’m supposed to learn from this experience.”
But I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been struggling in a particular area and found that the sermon or message applied so directly to my situation that it felt like the pastor was talking directly to me. Church helps us “get it,” whether we are ready for it or not.
CHURCH TEACHES US FORGIVENESS
It can be hard to let go of disappointments, frustrations and annoyances. Maybe a friend has let us down, our kids have been out of control lately, or our spouse has said or done something hurtful. Forgiveness is one of the hardest lessons to learn, and yet, when are finally able to let things go, it can take a huge weight off our shoulders.
There’s no better place to be reminded of the gift of forgiveness that we have already received than by going to church, and our hearts can help but be softened in the process.
CHURCH FILLS OUR HEARTS WITH SONG
There’s something a little bit magical about music. Listening to hymns and religious music can uplift us and give us messages we may not otherwise hear. It’s amazing how open our hearts can become through song, and how sometimes even the weight of the world can be lifted off our shoulders the moment that first song begins playing.
Through music, we feel more spiritually connected because song is a conduit to God. We can feel joy and happiness by listening to music with a great message, then carrying that song in our hearts all week long.
CHURCH IS WHERE WE FIND DEEPER MEANING IN OUR LIVES
In my most frustrated and stressed-out moments, I sometimes find myself wondering, “What’s the point?” When we feel despair, sorrow, frustration and stress, it’s easy to lose sight of the greater plan and purpose that’s out there for all of us. We might even feel alone and isolated from God and from other people.
But when we go to church, we’re given a greater sense of purpose and meaning. We can see the history of what has led us up to this point, and the promise that lies in our future even beyond this world. Church helps us revisit the larger narrative of life and the reasons to hold on and keep the faith.
ONE of the most striking scientific discoveries about religion in recent years is that going to church weekly is good for you. Religious attendance — at least, religiosity — boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. It may add as much as two to three years to your life. The reason for this is not entirely clear.
Social support is no doubt part of the story. At the evangelical churches I’ve studied as an anthropologist, people really did seem to look out for one another. They showed up with dinner when friends were sick and sat to talk with them when they were unhappy. The help was sometimes surprisingly concrete. Perhaps a third of the church members belonged to small groups that met weekly to talk about the Bible and their lives. One evening, a young woman in a group I joined began to cry. Her dentist had told her that she needed a $1,500 procedure, and she didn’t have the money. To my amazement, our small group — most of them students — simply covered the cost, by anonymous donation. A study conducted in North Carolina found that frequent churchgoers had larger social networks, with more contact with, more affection for, and more kinds of social support from those people than their unchurched counterparts. And we know that social support is directly tied to better health.
Healthy behavior is no doubt another part. Certainly many churchgoers struggle with behaviors they would like to change, but on average, regular church attendees drink less, smoke less, use fewer recreational drugs and are less sexually promiscuous than others.
That tallies with my own observations. At a church I studied in Southern California, the standard conversion story seemed to tell of finding God and never taking methamphetamine again. (One woman told me that while cooking her dose, she set off an explosion in her father’s apartment and blew out his sliding glass doors. She said to me, “I knew that God was trying to tell me I was going the wrong way.”) In my next church, I remember sitting in a house group listening to a woman talk about an addiction she could not break. I assumed that she was talking about her own struggle with methamphetamine. It turned out that she thought she read too many novels.
Yet I think there may be another factor. Any faith demands that you experience the world as more than just what is material and observable. This does not mean that God is imaginary, but that because God is immaterial, those of faith must use their imaginations to represent God. To know God in an evangelical church, you must experience what can only be imagined as real, and you must also experience it as good.
I want to suggest that this is a skill and that it can be learned. We can call it absorption: the capacity to be caught up in your imagination, in a way you enjoy. What I saw in church as an anthropological observer was that people were encouraged to listen to God in their minds, but only to pay attention to mental experiences that were in accord with what they took to be God’s character, which they took to be good. I saw that people were able to learn to experience God in this way, and that those who were able to experience a loving God vividly were healthier — at least, as judged by a standardized psychiatric scale. Increasingly, other studies bear out this observation that the capacity to imagine a loving God vividly leads to better health.
The Bible indicates it’s what we should do. (Hebrews 10:25)
You will have the opportunity to worship God.
You will likely have some of life big questions answered.
The preaching of the Bible will help set direction for your life.
You will probably make some new friends.
You’ll probably see some old friends.
Being there is a sign of your discipleship.
Being there will encourage your pastors and leaders.
You’ll be encouraged in your walk with God.
You’ll likely encourage other people in their walk with God.
Life doesn’t seem to slow down. Most people’s weekdays are typically crammed with school, work, extracurricular activities, cooking and chores. When the weekend hits, most of us want to unwind and have some fun.
The world is becoming more secular, and going to church isn’t as common as it used to be. Even when we consider ourselves spiritual people, religion and church sometimes fall down the list of life’s priorities.
Church provides so much. Here are just five ways that going to church can bless you and your family.
- Church anchors us
Our kids are bombarded with technology, materialism and questionable media messages. In many families, religion and spirituality have taken a backseat to life’s distractions.
Setting aside a few hours each weekend to attend church provides a much-needed balance. At church, our children can grow closer to God, learn morals and standards and be strengthened spiritually. Church keeps us grounded.
- We receive spiritual strength at church
Some people question the point of attending church. They argue that they can visit the outdoors and feel close to God in nature. Or, maybe they feel that Sunday is strictly a stay-in-bed, relax-with-the-family day.
While these can be good pursuits, attending church gives us so much more. Singing hymns, praying, participating in Communion or sacrament service, listening to prepared lessons or sermons, and worshipping with a congregation uplifts and strengthens our spirits. The spiritual strength we receive weekly at church, as kids and adults, helps sustain us for each week ahead.
A family day is a great idea, so why not attend church as a family?
- Church provides fellowship
Our associations with members of our congregations are so strengthening. When life throws challenges, it’s nice to have a church network to lean on. The encouragement and love we receive through our churches truly enriches our lives.
Many church members lend a hand in times of need. They might provide meals, help with our children and listening ears. We can enjoy new friendships and fun church activities, as well.
Many churches also have youth groups that involve our kids in a wholesome environment. Our children can surround themselves with kids that have standards and values similar to their own.
- Church presents opportunities to serve
Jesus taught that we should bear one another’s burdens and love our neighbors as ourselves.
We often get so wrapped up in our own lives that we miss opportunities to reach out to others. Church congregations are like an extended family. We’re provided with many opportunities to serve.
We can involve our kids in helping with church activities, preparing and delivering meals to those in need, helping to clean the church building and doing whatever needs to be done for fellow church members.
Service to others teaches our kids unselfishness, compassion and how to dig in and work.
- We get to know God
Of course, the ultimate prize in church worship is growing closer to God. Learning about him, his teachings and commandments helps us to become better people. We feel his love and this brings us happiness.
Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (KJV Matthew 18:20)
Find a church that aligns with your beliefs and values. Strengthen your children spiritually by going to church. Add peace to your family’s lives through church worship.
Guidance from social support – Going to a place of worship gives you a sense of community. You have a second family that you can share your life’s problems and fun times with. Friends from church support you through the best and worst of times. Praying and going to church together makes the sense of community stronger.
Good influence – Having friends from church not only help you lead a better spiritual life but also helps you be around a safe environment. They can also be a great support system when you or your family are going through tough situations. Being around pious people also helps you lead a sedentary lifestyle and not fall into social influence like drugs and alcohol.
Promotes accountability and routine – Attending church every Sunday gives you a sense of routine which can be incorporated into your everyday life. It helps you account for everyday responsibilities and get into routine with daily activities.
Discipline – Going to a place of worship gives you a strong sense of community and people that go to church are usually disciplined by the ways of christianity. This also teaches you to have a more disciplined attitude throughout life. Being disciplined can also help you make good life choices.
Teaches morals and good manners – Churches encourage their flock to think and act with goodwill. The aim of churches is often to provide mankind with outstanding citizens with set morals and manners, teaching the value of maintaining a personal set of ethics such as faith, hope, charity, integrity, knowledge, respect, and self-control.
Acceptance – Being in Church gives you a sense of community. Being a part of the Church family helps you feel socially accepted into a community. While praying Church and attending the ceremonies, you will also feel spiritually accepted by the environment you are surrounded by.
Self identity/esteem – Going to church promotes individual growth because it enables one to reflect back on their own actions and thoughts. The philosophical and theological values of which a church abides often is directed toward the individual, encouraging them to contemplate on who they are and the impact they can make to the world.
Promotes social services, charity, mentoring,tutoring – The selflessness that comes from going to church encourages one to action. Places of worship oftentimes promote service and goodwill action and will host a variety of events for volunteering, enabling one to teach, guide, and help others.
Inspiration/Motivation – The world can be overstimulating, especially when it comes to the five senses. The constant assault of living a routine lifestyle paired with the pressure to live up to responsibilities and success can result in one feeling drained and finding their lifestyle mundane. Creative outlets may even be staunched. Going to church can be an excellent way to draw on inspiration for activities and can motivate one to improve their lifestyle.
Reduces stress – The time spent drawing inward and focusing your energy on clearing your thoughts leads to a drastic reduction in stress levels. After spending time in the place of worship, you feel lighter, more confident and free from worldly worries.