December 17, 2012 at 09:04 AM EST
The Value of Joining a Church

Joining a church or religious organization is a great way to improve your quality of life and find true happiness. Churches are the cornerstones of our communities and social networks. They provide shelter, warmth, food, spiritual nourishment and community service. Many church members feel that their lives are more meaningful because they are members of religious communities.

Attending church gives one the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and make friends. At church, you are a part of something bigger. You represent an organization that is dedicated to sharing the Gospel via community improvement and moral values. Each Sunday, you are handed a pamphlet that contains the program for the service, event listings, prayer requests and church bulletin art. There are few other situations in life where one can simply walk into a room and be included into the group with no strings attached.

Without Christianity, it is easy to get caught up in the rat race of materialism. Christians are very focused on self-improvement; they try to help each other rise above the concerns of the ego. Christians recognize that no human is perfect. They strive to recreate themselves in the image of Christ in order to better understand themselves and others. Christian churches support this self-improvement because it is decoupled from material wealth, and instead focused on love and enlightenment.

Church communities offer solace and inspiration during hard times. The beauty of the worship may be physical, such as stained glass or church bulletin art. Other times the beauty of the church experience is found in the spiritual connectedness offered to congregants. When life becomes overwhelming, your pastor will be there to listen and remind you of Christ’s commitment to his followers.

Churches are a pillar of learning in many communities. They offer new member classes, Bible study and periodic lectures by visiting dignitaries meant to enhance the understanding of Christ’s message. Additional learning takes place when members from different walks of life interact while serving God together in the sanctuary or the community at large.

Churches are the perfect place to socialize with everyday people from all walks of life. Holiday pageants, caroling, fundraisers and community service are some of the events that churches sponsor. Service missions to build houses in poor countries are also a common church activity, as well as missionary work in general.

Families can take advantage of church social events to meet suitable playmates for children outside of school and sports. Sunday school teaches children about God’s love from an age-appropriate perspective, and youth groups provide a space for teens to learn and grow spiritually without abandoning their values. In addition, church attendance gives kids and teens a moral foundation for life. Regular church attendance correlates with a longer life, increased chance of happiness, lower risk of drug or alcohol use and lower risk of suicide.

Church is also a great place to meet new loved ones. Single men and women have a much higher chance of meeting a spouse who shares their values at church. Women and men alike can benefit from the opportunities to form meaningful, lifelong relationships within a spiritual community.

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