My mom understood the amazing benefits of faith for her children. Having said that, she was not a spiritual or religious person. But every Sunday, she and my father took us to church. Years later, I asked her why she took us even though she said she didn’t get anything out of it. “I knew it would teach you good things,” she said. What my Mom knew intuitively, research has proven.
In a summary of research findings in her book, Strong Mothers, Strong Sons, author Meg Meeker writes, “The studies found that faith improves a teen’s chances of staying away from…drugs, drinking, sexual activity, and truancy.” The research also found that faith increases self-esteem and decreases the risk of depression. So if you take your children to church, keep doing it. If you don’t, consider the benefits to your children. iMOM writer Dana McCain shares 10 more reasons to give church a try.
1. It’s not your grandma’s church.
If you’ve been away from church for a while, you may be shocked (in a good way) by how fresh church programming and worship environments may feel. Churches have been listening to those who don’t attend and many have responded by creating environments that seem more relevant to contemporary life.
2. If you loved your childhood church, it’s still out there, too!
Perhaps one of the best things about the modern church is that there is great variety in religious expression available. Even among mainline denominations, you can find congregations that stick to the traditional hymns and liturgy, and those who plug in electric guitars—with the scriptural values being taught staying constant across the board.
3. Free donuts.
They’re probably by the free coffee. Cha-ching!
4. Kids are curious. Church explains things.
Where did we come from? Why are there rainbows? Was baby Jesus really born in a barn? If you’re as tired of trying to have all the answers as most parents of preschoolers, you’ll welcome a chance to let some sainted Sunday School teacher take over once in a while.
5. Your teen needs an anchor.
Your teen may be up against tough odds when it comes to making good choices amidst the peer pressure at school. A church youth group just might give him the encouragement he needs to make good choices, even if it’s unpopular with some.
6. Hope lives there.
Think yours is the only marriage that has faced tough times? In your church small group, you may learn that your story isn’t that uncommon, and that there’s hope. Sharing with others who’ve walked the same road can help you see past the problem and hang on until a better day.
7. A chance to use your talents.
Love to sing but haven’t had a place to do so in years? There’s a church choir or a praise team with your name on it somewhere. Love building things? Your local churches are probably sending mission teams out to do construction for those in need on a regular basis. A church body can provide a chance to use your gifts and experience the joy that comes with it.
8. Safe harbor in a storm.
Many are the families who can say that when a crisis arose in their lives, church friends saved the day. Whether it’s by bringing meals or babysitting for a sick mom, or comforting a family after a loss, church people are good at loving one another in practical ways when it matters most. (This is why so many church ladies have their names on the bottoms of their casserole dishes. Excessive cooking and taking has necessitated it. Trust us—you want these women in your life.)
9. Church Supper!
If you’re lucky, your church will offer a once-weekly supper as an opportunity for fellowship among the members. This is also known as “The Night Mom Doesn’t Have to Cook.”
10. Timeless advice for a rapidly changing world.
Do you feel like things are changing around you at the speed of light, and that you don’t even know what to tell your kids about what’s right or wrong sometimes? The Bible is a timeless resource for navigating life, and going to church will connect you to those core ideas which have stood—and will continue to stand—the test of time.
If you’re looking for a church near you, then try searching this nation-wide directory of churches.
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