Finding Solace: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit a Local Church Community Even If You're Not Religious
1. Put Things Into Perspective
All too often, we focus so much on ourselves that we forget to consider our neighbors, our families, our fellow humans. Setting aside ego allows us to consider those around us and see their needs. We can begin to create community and work together, meet new people and make a difference in someone else's life.
2. Access to Service Events
Periodically visiting a church community can put you in a position to be of service to the community. Often churches will have community service opportunities that are glad to have more volunteers. If you are a community-minded person and you're looking to find more ways you help those in your community or nearby communities, visit our church community to see some of what we do.
3. See the World
Some churches sponsor trips abroad. All too often they are trying to spread their message, but they do afford people the chance to travel out of the country and experience a new culture. You may be involved in setting up a school, church, farm, hospital or something else. You will be making a difference in someone's life that is a world away from your own. There are even synagogues that sponsor trips to Israel for young people. These trips are usually more affordable because lodging is usually paid for and many meals, too.
4. Local Decision Making
Churches that are deeply rooted in their communities are often centers of decision making. Think about the Civil Rights Era and how plans and decisions were made in churches that mobilized people to make a difference. When tragedies occur, people will often gather at a local church to discuss how change can happen. Police officers and community activists also utilize churches to be a mediator and help change the social climate of the community. Many important decisions that affect the way our local government works and the way we move within our communities have been made at local churches.
5. Working to Create Diversity
Diversity is a hot topic as of late. People want to feel included and be heard no matter who they are--black, white, Latino, female, Asian, Jew, Muslim, low-income, wealthy, homosexual… Everyone wants to have a voice and feel represented. Diverse church congregations often foster a more diverse community and reach out to a wide array of populations.
6. Become a Mentor
If you have a real passion for young people, mentorship might be just the thing to help you scratch that itch. Making a difference in the life of a young and impressionable mind is very instrumental in creating a better future for your community. Your influence just might be the thing to change the trajectory of a young person's life. Depending on your career, you may even be a candidate for mentoring a start-up business or a new teacher. Being involved can strengthen a community more than you ever dreamed.
7. Transform Your Life
You don't have to attend a church to transform your life. Just being in the company of people you may not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with can possibly change your outlook on life, or cause you to see something different. We are in control of our thoughts and actions, but communal experiences have the power to transform our lives in ways that we never imagined. Making an unexpected connection is one of the joys of life.
8. Social Support and Networking
Just like going to college or joining a fraternity or sorority can increase your networking circle, so can getting involved in a local church. Forging the necessary bonds to propel your business, career or personal life forward is essential to your upward growth. Branching out into sectors that you wouldn't typically think to travel in can expand your reach and open the doors to new and exciting opportunities. Making friends as an adult is far more difficult than it was when we were in high school and grade school. Friendships are important to the human psyche. They help us to stay young, feel supported and make informed decisions. As we age, friendships can help us make it through medical crises and can also help us navigate mental disorders.
9. Mental and Physical Health
Belonging to a community and being an active member of your community has great implications for your health, both mentally and physically. Having someone or people to go to when you need a helping hand or when you are going through a tough time can make you feel a lot better about your situation. It has been repeatedly shown that having a support system is vital to living a long and more prosperous life.
10. Receive a Helping Hand
It's not so hard to ask for the help of a church community when that community is already familiar with you. Although you may have started to visit a local church community with the goal of becoming more active and invested in your area, you just may find yourself in need of the community's help. It could be as simple as needing a few extra hands to help you move or wanting someone to walk your dog for you while you're on vacation or even for monetary support because you have to be out of work for a period of time for medical treatment.
One of the more obvious benefits of visiting a local church community is having the opportunity to meet new people. But in the long run, you are broadening your horizons and strengthening your ties to your community. So don't be afraid to get involved in church activities just because you're not religious. Your contributions will be appreciated.