Research shows that kids who attend church regularly are happier, healthier, and better-adjusted. Plus, church is a great place for kids to learn morals, virtues, and the Word of God.
Did you know research shows that kids who attend church regularly are happier, healthier, and better-adjusted? Plus, church is a great place for kids to learn morals, virtues, and the Word of God.
As our culture slides further into depravity, kids need church more than ever. Our children are being constantly barraged with teachings that directly contradict Christian beliefs. If Christian parents don’t actively work to undo this indoctrination, our children will soon have the same beliefs as the secular world.
Still not convinced? Here are 10 reasons why Christian parents need to take their kids to church.
#1: God Commands It
For years I believed that you didn’t need to go to church to be a good Christian. I knew in my heart that I probably should, but I didn’t know why. Hebrews 10:24-25 explains it.
“24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
We need to go to church to have personal contact with other believers. When we meet together, we can inspire and encourage each other to grow in our faith. We can stir up one another to love and do good works.
Verse 25 specifically says not to neglect to meet together. Fellowshipping with other Christians is necessary not only for discipleship, but so that we can meet each other's needs.
#2: Church Teaches the Word of God
The Bible tells parents to raise their children with Christian discipline and instruction. (Ephesians 6:4) It also says to diligently teach your children the ways of God. (Deuteronomy 6:7) Note that these verses give the responsibility of training children to the parents, not the church. However, taking your kids to church is a great way to supplement your Christian instruction.
At church, our kids learn the Word of God through stories and lessons. They learn to worship God with songs of praise. They hide God’s Word in their hearts by memorizing scripture. And they learn the principles of tithing by giving.
Our culture is actively seeking to secularize our kids and quash their Christian beliefs. This is no time to be complacent and think that church is not important. More than ever, our kids need to be in church, hearing the Word of God, to undo the damage being done by our culture.
#3: Church Provides a Loving, Supportive Community
Belonging to a good church is like having a caring second family. A church family is there to encourage, support, love, and help you in times of need. We all go through crises at some point in our life. We lose a job, loved one, or have health issues. Our church family is there to pray, comfort, and help us with practical needs.
It’s also a place where you can make lifelong friends with like-minded people. Jesus didn’t do life alone. He spent time with other believers, and we’re called to follow his example.
For kids, having a church family will give them an extra layer of security. They’ll realize they have a group of people who love and watch out for them. It also gives them confidence to know they’re not alone in their beliefs, but are surrounded by other like-minded kids.
#4: Church Strengthens Families
One of the best things parents can do for their kids is to have a stable, secure family. According to research reported by the Center for Law and Social Policy, children, on average, do best when raised by their two married, biological parents who have low-conflict relationships. That’s where church comes in.
According to data compiled by University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, married church-going Americans were more likely to describe themselves as “very happy” in their marriages than non-religious respondents. They were also less likely to get a divorce.
I know from personal experience that going to church helps my marriage. Many times, my husband and I have been at odds with one another before church. After hearing a message reminding us how to treat one another, it totally changed our attitude. We each humbled ourselves, apologized, and tried to treat each more honorably.
#5: Church Provides Opportunities to Help Others
Jesus said if you love him, to feed his sheep. (John 21:15) Basically, it means if you love Jesus, you need to help others. Having your kids get involved in church projects will train your children to follow Jesus’s command to help others.
The church has all kinds of opportunities to help those in need. Kids can volunteer to work on community projects. They can rake leaves for a widow, or help raise money for the poor. Not only will this help the needy, but it will also instill the virtues of helpfulness, unselfishness, and generosity. In addition, it will teach your children to put their problems in perspective as they witness the difficulties of others.
#6: Church Provides Kids with Good Role Models
One of the reasons I’m so glad my sons grew up going to church is that they were surrounded by good role models. Their teachers and youth leaders inspired and challenged them to stay on the right path.
This was especially important in the teen years. When my sons were teenagers, we became very involved with both the youth group and the parents of the youth. We hung out a lot and formed lasting friendships.
I remember one particular outing, one of the mothers gave the teens an impromptu Christian sex talk. She talked about dating, porn, sex, etc. All of us parents were standing united behind her nodding in agreement. It was amazing. I had said the exact same thing to my sons, but when I said it, I could see their eyes glaze over. But when all of their friends’ parents were agreeing to the same things, it really made an impact. My boys knew as teenagers they had a large group of parents watching them.
#7: Churchgoers Enjoy Better Health and Well-being
There are numerous studies that indicate that churched children do better as teens and later in life than unchurched children. Dr. Pat Fagan of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion, did a study in which he compiled the independent findings of more than 100 social scientists. Dr. Fagan found that churched children are less likely to get divorced later in life, are more able to overcome poverty, and do better in school.
Dr. Meg Meeker did a summary of research findings in her book Strong Mothers, Strong Sons. Dr. Meeker writes, “The studies found that faith improves a teen’s chances of staying away from…drugs, drinking, sexual activity, and truancy.” She also noted that faith increases self-esteem and decreases the risk of depression.
Other research studies show that people who attend church live longer and are healthier than the general population. According to preventative medicine expert Dr. Lynda Powell of Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, this may be because the church promotes healthier lifestyles. Most churches discourage the use of drugs, alcohol, and sex outside of marriage. At the same time, the church encourages congregants to connect with other believers to engage socially, which contributes to a person’s emotional well-being.
#8: Church is a Great Place to Make Quality Friends
It’s been said that you become who you hang out with. The Bible says it a little differently: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20)
Who your children spend time with is of the utmost importance. “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character." (1 Corinthians 15:33) If your children’s friends drink, smoke, and do drugs, it won’t be long before your kids do too. If your children’s friends are foul-mouthed and disrespectful, you’ll see it show up in your children too.
That’s why it’s so important for kids to have friends of good influence. Church is a great place to find those types of friends. Will all of the kids at church be suitable playmates? Absolutely not, but you’re more likely to find good friends at church than most other places.
It’s also important for your kids to hang out with friends who are being raised with the same values. It can be very lonely as a kid to try to stay on the right path when everyone you know is headed down a different road. But if your children are surrounded with like-minded friends, it’s a whole lot easier.
#9: Churchgoers Are Happier
According to the Pew Research Center, people who attend church regularly are much happier than those who do not attend church. The research found that people who attended church at least once a week or more were happier than those who went less often. And those who did not attend church at all were reported the least happy.
Today, more than ever, children need to attend church. Why? Because our culture feeds our kids a steady diet of fear, anxiety, and despair. No wonder there’s so much depression and anxiety among young people! The church, on the other hand, offers messages of hope, inspiration, and peace.
#10: Taking Your Kids to Church Each Week Develops a Habit
The Bible instructs parents to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he won’t depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
When you train someone, you do the same thing over and over until it becomes second nature. If we want our children to attend church as adults, we need to form the habit early. Our kids need to see that going to church on a weekly basis is a priority.
If you’ve had a bad experience with a church in the past, please don’t let that deter you from trying again. Churches are made up of imperfect people, many of whom are not spiritually mature. Try some different churches until you find one where you feel loved and welcomed. Volunteer and join groups. The more involved you are in church, the more likely it is you’ll make friends, and feel like your church is a supportive second family.
For more about raising your children with Christian discipline and instruction, get Parenting with Focus by Katie Ely.
Want to make new friends and connect with other Christian parents? Host a small group parenting class. It’s easy with The Parenting with Focus Video Course. Just watch the video and discuss the group discussion questions. Easy—and fun!