Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Health Benefits of Attending Church

Going to Sunday school at the Baptist Church. ...
Going to Sunday school at the Baptist Church. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky. - NARA - 541344 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This guest blog entry is by Chad Siemer

Discussing science and religion in the same conversation is often a controversial issue, but scientific research supports the notion that attending church on a regular basis is good for your short-term and long-term health.

Several studies have found that going to church promotes a stronger immune system, decreases blood pressure, and may even extend a person’s life by two to three years. Although the reasons for this aren't clearly defined, many believe having strong social support network that is often found in churches is a contributing factor.

Another potential factor is that churchgoers are typically associated with healthy behaviors. That’s not to say that people who attend church don’t have behaviors they wish to change, but rather churchgoers tend to drink less alcohol, smoke less, and avoid drugs.

One study showed a 25 percent lower mortality rate for people who attended church on a weekly basis.

The social support that accompanies going to church is perhaps the biggest reason why attending on the regular is beneficial to our health. People who are more social and have a strong supporting group of friends tend to be happier and therefore less likely to have feelings of depression.

For example, when a member of a church faces an illness or another hardship, other members come together to provide the highest level of support imaginable. Whether it’s in the form of preparing meals, praying or donating money, church members certainly do what they can to take care of each other and this is a vital part of a healthy life.

Additional Benefits of Going to Church

Families who attend church together experience a number of benefits, including:

  • Children are less likely to get involved in drugs and violence
  • Church is a conversation starter and provides common ground between adults and kids
  • Both parents and children establish friendships with those that share the same beliefs
  • Whether it’s lunch or breakfast before or after church, families often create traditions surrounding church on Sundays
  • Attending Sunday school classes helps kids develop social skills
  • Church on Sunday is designated as family time
  • Kids are encouraged from an early age to volunteer and make a difference in the community by participating in a number of church outreach programs
  • Children are exposed to music without explicit lyrics
  • Couples are said to experience happier marriages when going to church
  • Teenagers have better behaviors

Abandoned (Photo credit: Big Grey Mare)
The list of benefits for families as well as individuals who attend church could go on and on and there are a number of studies to support it.

Research supports the idea that church improves lives, but what is being done to promote it and raise awareness? The number of people who attend church on a regular basis is becoming less and less and religion as we know it is slowing fading.

One obvious reason for this is that it has become unacceptable in a sense to publicly talk about religion outside of church. Unless you’re in a bible study or with friends that attend church with you, it’s difficult to talk about religion without upsetting someone. As believers we must continue to discuss the word of God and the benefits of attending church.

This post has been researched and written on behalf of First Baptist Orlando. Please contact us at any time at 3000 South John Young Pkwy Orlando, Florida 32805. We can be reached via phone at 407.425.2555.

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