Few people will argue that attendance in many churches in America is declining. Whether it is due to shifting cultural standards, apathy among Christians, or a younger generation that is suspicious about joining any kind of large organization, the church is working hard to adapt and attract new members. Have you ever wondered about the positive benefits of attending a church service? We here at Shelby Systems recently did some research on that subject and came up with some surprising and encouraging answers. Please feel free to share these documented study results with your pastor, fellow church members, and friends who don’t attend church regularly. Church goers are more likely to be married and express a higher satisfaction with life. Church involvement is the most important predictor of marital stability and happiness according to the Heritage Foundation. Church attendance boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. It may add as many as 2 to 3 years to your life according to the New York Times. A 2010 Child Trends review indicates that kids who attend church are less likely to be involved in violence, theft, and vandalism or to struggle with substance abuse problems than their peers. Teens with church-going fathers are more likely to say that they enjoy spending time with Dad and that they admire him according to a recent University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study. According to the Pew Research Center, frequent church goers are happier. Those who attend church services weekly or more, are happier than those who attend less often. Those who seldom or never attend services are the least likely to say they are very happy. Church involvement moves people out of poverty. It is also correlated with less depression, more self-esteem, and greater family and marital happiness according to the Heritage Foundation. According to the Hartford Institute, church participation leads men to become more engaged husbands and fathers. A special report by the National Survey of Children’s Health indicates that church participation by an intact family is associated with a lower risk of developmental and behavioral problems in school age children. Here’s a quote from a recent study: “Those who go to church more than once a week enjoy better health than those who attend only once a week. Overall the reduction in mortality attributable to church going is 25%. This is a huge amount in epistemological studies.” Researchers thought that perhaps this was simply due to having strong supportive relationships, but non-church centered groups didn’t experience that same effect. Couples who attend church together report being more happily married and are less likely to divorce. Drawing upon three national surveys, University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox found that married church-going Americans across all racial and denominational classifications were more likely to describe themselves as very happy in their marriages than non-church-going respondents. In addition to worship, fellowship, and finding a higher purpose in life, the admonition in Hebrews 10: 25 includes with it a long list of amazing benefits. Don’t miss out on all these wonderful blessings. We hope to see you at church this Sunday.