Many people of faith believe that you do not have to attend services regularly to practice your religion. They engage in prayer, scripture study, and charitable works on their own. There are several reasons why believers may choose not to attend church:

  • They haven't found a church they like.
  • They don't agree with the church's stance on certain issues.
  • The church's schedule does not match their own.
  • They are in poor health or have other issues that keep them from attending.

Those who do attend frequently also cite personal reasons for doing so. According to the Pew Research Center, the top four reasons Americans give for their commitment to attending services are their relationship with God, self-improvement, the education of their children, and the comfort of the community.

To Grow Closer to God

As you might expect, the most common reason people attend church on a regular basis is to become closer to God. Being an active part of a faith community lets them learn more about God and the scriptures. They hear not only the sermons and other lessons that are taught but also can engage in discussion with others who may have more experience with faith.

Services also offer an opportunity for prayer and worship, which gives believers a chance to interact with the divine. This practice can strengthen their relationship with God, and regular attendance ensures that it doesn't fall through the cracks of their busy to-do lists.

To Become a Better Person

Some people are content to go through life, only learning the skills they need to complete certain tasks and make it through. Others, however, expect more from themselves. They are committed to lifelong learning and are always looking for ways to improve.

Regular church attendance is an opportunity to learn how to become a better person. They go to have their assumptions challenged and to gain a more compassionate view of other people. They may simply listen to the scripture readings and the sermon and reflect on it during the week, or they can join small groups where they discuss their struggles and get advice on how to overcome them.

To Raise Children in Their Faith

Couples who don't regularly attend church on their own often start doing so once they have kids. They know that most people who attend church as adults often had some experience with it growing up. Many parents want to make sure their children learn the basic tenets of their faith in a place where they can forge their own connections with those who share it.

While parents can certainly teach children about God at home, attending church on a regular basis gives their kids access to other people who can serve as spiritual leaders in their lives. These relationships may become important to them as they grow older, especially as they encounter situations or have questions that their parents are not equipped to answer.

To Experience Comfort and Community

Having the support of a strong community is important, especially during hard times. Regular church attendance gives people a built-in support system they can lean on when they are grieving or experiencing major life changes. Their faith community can be there not only to listen and offer comfort but also to provide practical assistance such as family meals or help with other tasks. Being a part of a like-minded community can give their lives more stability than they might otherwise have.

It's not uncommon to hear reasons people of faith don't go to church, but there are still many reasons why others continue to do so. For them, the benefits they get from attending services on a regular basis outweigh any inconvenience or drawbacks they might see.

Category: Freedom of Religion

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