After years of study, researchers have published thousands of articles on their findings that attendance at worship is good for you. Every pastor is happy to read these reports. Even better are the most recent studies that say going to church dramatically improves health!
Vanderbilt Social and Behavioral Scientist Marino Bruce says this: his: “Middle aged adults – both men and women – who attend church or other houses of worship reduce their risk for mortality by 55 percent. Attendance at worship services – is associated with less stress and enhanced longevity. We’ve found that being in a place where you can flex those spiritual muscles is actually beneficial for your health.”
Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it: “Um hmm”.
God made us for relationships, first and most importantly, with himself. Going to church connects us with God as we worship. What is our chief aim? “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. No wonder our health is improved – this is what we were created for! God also made us for relationships with one another. Going to church strengthens relationships as we connect as the family of faith and learn to love and care deeply for each other.
Going to church offers peace and rest from the bustle of daily life. God gave us a day of rest to recalibrate and receive His gift of peace. We desperately need God’s peace to calm our souls, decrease our blood pressure, and boost our immune systems.
We are naturally self-focused takers but going to church changes us into people who give. As we give our time, our money and our gifts to the work of the church and for the needs around us, we are changed. Giving changes our focus from ourselves to others and this is key to improving our mental health. We are cheerful givers here. Um hmm.
Going to church teaches us about forgiveness. Each week we confess our failures before God and find complete forgiveness. We also learn how important it is to forgive others. Forgiveness both received and given brings health. Don’t we grow bitter and hateful when we refuse to forgive others? Um hmm.
Hymns and songs of praise lift us up and going to church keeps us singing! Music touches our souls and draws us right into God’s presence. How often have you left church with a song stuck in your head? Um hmm.
Going to church makes us grateful. Giving thanks changes our perspective. At church we remember our blessings outweigh our problems. Gratefully we remember, “God’s got this”.
Going to church reminds us our life has meaning and purpose. How quickly we forget our belonging as God’s dearly loved children. At church we hear God’s call to be learners and followers of Christ. We are reminded we belong to something greater than ourselves. We are part of God’s good plan, developing muscles of faith, hope and joy.
Do you want increased health and a longer life?
GO TO CHURCH! Um hmm.
Growing in Grace,