That sounds like a bold statement to make yet it is backed up by Harvard health, who conducted a study using sample sizes up to 7500 young people with an average age of 14 with 8-14 years follow up from 1999 to 2013.
They discovered the following which was published in an academic journal [read the whole survey here. https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/187/11/2355/5094534 ]
- Children who went to church at least once a week as children or teens were 18% more likely to report being happier in their twenties that those who never attended services.
- Children who went to church were 33% less likely to use drugs in their twenties
- Children who went to church were 33% less likely to have sex at an earlier age and less likely to have an STD.
- Young people who prayed daily either at church or on their own reported greater life satisfaction and were better able to process emotions with lower risks of substance abuse and depression later in life
- Young church attendees were more forgiving
- Researchers found church attendance had a lower likelihood of smoking and an increased likelihood of voting!
- 30% of children raised in the church were more likely to volunteer in their community
There is some great motivation here to take your family to church, though personally, these are my reasons for going to church:
- You get to belong to a positive community who love the Lord their God with all their heart soul mind and strength and love their neighbours as themselves.
- You get to praise God who daily blesses us with so much
- Churches have community programs where you can be a part of blessing others locally and overseas.
- You get to dig deep into God’s word which guides your life every day
- You get to build a strong and close relationship with Jesus Christ.
But what if your children want to go to church and it isn’t your thing? Maybe you’ve never been to church yourself! Maybe you did and didn’t like it! Why not spend a few Sundays checking out your local churches and find where you fit. Why not commit to going once a month for a year to discover more about God? Churches usually have Kids Church or Youth Group’s your children can attend. They are great places for young people to find new friends, have a sense of belonging and discover more about God. The school’s on-site church meets at 9am each Sunday and has a whole host of weekly activities. Check them out on http://gcbcq.org/
I hope you feel as David did when he wrote Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”.
I’d love to hear back any of your church experiences, so let me know how you found church.
Pastor Fiona Cran