Many people find that attending church regularly is rewarding. Not only are they developing a closer relationship with the Lord, they also reap positive health benefits for better coping with the challenges of everyday life. Here are some reasons to consider being a churchgoer.
The December 2010 journal of American Sociological Review published research stating that people who attend regular services are happier than those who have no affiliation. Whether you attend a church, temple, or synagogue, having the opportunity to experience fellowship and build social networks leads to deeper life satisfaction.
The stress of a demanding job or failing relationship can take its toll on body and mind. A 2010 study found believers who rely on their faith to deal with life’s setbacks handle stress better than atheists do. In fact, the study discovered a nonbeliever’s stress increased with thoughts of God after doing something they viewed as wrong.
We all experience certain life events that leave us depressed. However, a 1998 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found people recover faster when religion plays an integral role in their lives.
Believe it or not, belonging to a church might help prevent a heart attack or stroke. A 1998 study conducted by researchers at UCLA found that churchgoers receive more preventive care than those who don’t attend. In fact, approximately 75 percent of 1,517 church members who were part of the study received regular mammograms. In contrast, only 60 percent of 510 nonchurchgoers in the study underwent mammograms.
A 2011 study conducted in Norway found that people who attend church have lower blood pressure than those who never attend. This likely stems from the relaxation boost they receive from singing, praying, and interacting with likeminded individuals.
Why locals feel attending church has a positive impact on their lives:
“Attending church helps you to cope with everyday life in a number of ways. Coming together with friends and family who believe in the same faith as you builds and motivates you. As children we attend school for 13 years and learn how to read, spell, count, etc. Same as attending church. We grow spiritually, and by doing so, we’re better equipped to handle the stressors of everyday living.”
—Fred Rahming, member of Citadel of Hope in Leesburg
“How could anyone do without church? It gives you a focus and center of being. Church does everything to glorify God. It feeds you every day, and that makes you go out and want to feed others.”
—Rita Gunter, Church at
“Belonging to a Christian church is great because you enjoy incredible camaraderie with fellow believers and worshipers. I enjoy everything about my church—the messages shared, the worship experience, the music, and the friendliness of the people.”
—Debi Meyer, First Baptist Church of Mount Dora
Did You Know?
- 40% of Americans say they attend church each week, according to the Hartford Institute of Religion Research.
- 78.2 million — the number of Catholics in the United States. It is the largest single religious denomination in the U.S.
- 70.6% of U.S. adults identify with Christian groups such as Protestants and Catholics. That number is down from 78.4 percent in 2007.
- 5.9% of Americans identify with non-Christian faiths such as Islam and Hinduism. That number has increased from 4.7 percent in 2007.
- 2.4% of Americans identify as atheists. That number has increased from 1.6 percent in 2007. Source: Pew Research Center