Attending church is often central to the spiritual lives of the religious. However, many people who consider themselves religious do not spend nearly as much time in church as they used to. According to a pole from the Pew Research Center, in the last decade there has been a 5% increase in the number of parishioners that report attending a religious service seldom or never in a year.
One reason for this is often because people find they are too busy. It's also possible that an established church doesn't speak to people's exact beliefs and instead emphasizes the specific dogmas of the particular denomination. Either way, it can be difficult to administer to any given set of like-minded believers; not to mention people have other plans for their weekends.
Many people are convinced that the difficulty in addressing all of this results in parishioners skipping out on going to church. Church is seen as an as an obligation, but we may not realize the benefits they may reap from attending church regularly. Studies have shown religious people who attend church with their families regularly fare better than religious people who don't.
The "church" itself can come in many forms and still bestow the same benefits. While many congregations have a dedicated building, others meet in community centers and homes. An emerging trend is also the online church, like the Universal Life Church. These give congregants access to the message and fellow members at any time and in any place. All of these forms can help grow a person spiritually.
One of the greatest things about attending church regularly is you get to be involved in a community. For most people, church is a place where you can meet up with friends and catch up on the events of the week. It can be a great time to have people pray for you and share things you are struggling with to get encouragement. Many people find when they go to church regularly, they start looking forward to it because of the sense of community they feel. You can foster a sense of community by attending church-related activities such as:
Focus groups such as youth group, online forums, or worship music rehearsals
These things can help friendships develop and relationships mature. Having this support system can be highly beneficial when you are going through a crisis or are simply looking for some extra encouragement during a challenging time.
Families who attend church together are more likely to spend time together as a family outside of church functions. This includes being more likely to eat your meals as a family, which allows families to share and discuss things going on in each other's lives.
Lower Risk for Youth
Children who attend church are less likely to engage in criminal or rebellious activities. This may be because of the family time that attending church regularly encourages. It could also be because church provides an atmosphere where an agreed upon sense of morality is socially enforced. Kids naturally have a tendency to want to fit in, and having a community based on shared values can help shape children to act in certain ways as well as provide friends that parents know and can trust.
When a family attends church regularly together, they are more likely to have more of a routine. This can help you be more organized and successful in life. While you obviously don't need to have every single hour of your life planned, it can help if you have a routine in order to stay organized and make sure you get everything accomplished in a day that you need to. Another bonus to having a routine is it really helps children. Kids need routine in order to thrive, and many behavioral problems can be tracked back to a lack in daily routine. Adults benefit from it as well, even if the effects aren't as obvious as they are in children.
Many churches are involved in community outreach or charities that your children can become involved in. This can be a great way to show your children compassion. This is something that many people lack these days, and it is something that we could certainly use more of in this world. Teaching compassion can help your child make a difference in the world.
As you can see, there are several benefits to going to church regularly as a family. If you don't feel comfortable in one church, you may consider giving a different church a try. You may be surprised at how much one church can differ from another, and it may not take long before you find your church home.