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This question struck me last Sunday at church. People usually talk about the abstract benefits of prayer and proving things etc, but I'm asking this question because over the many years I've been attending the same church I have realized a few things that aren't obvious if you aren't in the practise of going to church.

What are some of the things that you find are benefits from going to church regularly?

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David welcome to Christianity.SE! I think this is a great question, but I'm not sure about the format/wording the way it stands. SE sites are not well suited to poll type questions. Is there a way you could ask one or more specific focused questions to avoid it being a list/poll? –  Caleb Sep 5 '11 at 16:14
    
Also, perhaps you can lend some of your experiences with an answer here: Can I go to church on the internet? –  Caleb Sep 5 '11 at 16:14
    
Thanks, @Caleb. I hope people enjoy this question/answer in this format because I'm not sure how to break it down into parts? Do you mean like "Does going to church help you to be a better person?"? I actually asked the question so I could answer it myself as a kind of public record. –  David d C e Freitas Sep 6 '11 at 6:08
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5 Answers 5

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Benefits of going to church regularly:

  • During Holy Mass, receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord regularly, brings us into continuous reminder that God is with us and in us. If we believe that, then it has a huge affect on our behavior and mind set.
  • Being with a community of believers is extremely encouraging. When I see fellow believers humble themselves by kneeling or going to receive the Eucharist or giving each other the sign of peace, I feel immense joy and peace. And experiencing this on a regular basis must surely be good for your soul.
  • Hearing the Word of God on a regular basis helps us to obtain the mind of Christ and a healthy Christian worldview.
  • Regular attendance (especially when you don't feel like it) is like spiritual exercise, training to submit your will to Christ.
  • Consistent attendance makes you more comfortable with the local community of believers and makes it easier for you to fellowship with them.
  • It is a benefit to others because they might find joy in seeing you there.
  • The grace of God trains us to "live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives".
  • It brings peace and guidance.
  • Regular church, means regular worship, and regular communal prayer.

I think there is much more to say here. Can't wait to hear what others have to say.

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1 and 2 sound more like Catholic specific benefits, but +1 –  RCIX Sep 5 '11 at 17:13
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Here are some of my points, without trying to sound "correct":

  • From the poorest to the richest all have to kneel next to each other so you get exposure to all walks of life, helping you to be more understanding of people's differences in your daily life (work/school).
  • The routine helps your life feel less pointless during those really low times. People are creatures of habit so to speak.
  • The quiet time is something that a lot of people just don't do during their week, it goes from Work (PC) to Car (radio/driving) to Home (tv), with no "meditation" for the mind. I find this weekly practise of going to church helps a lot for when you are a student because you are already accustomed to being still for an hour and can concentrate longer.
  • Listening skills are improved, also good for when you have to attend meetings/lectures.
  • If you help with the readings in church, your confidence goes up and its much easier to stand and speak at work in meetings etc. Not everyone does this but if you do your public speaking is automatically improved. So it's not just a spiritual benefit in this regard.
  • It gives you a reason to make sure you have showered (not a strong point of some single guys, esp if you spend a lot of time 'online', talking from experience) because you know you will most likely interact with people. Going to church is something of your own choice and it's one of the few things you have to get up for that doesn't benefit anyone (or yourself) but just to give thanks and praise.
  • You can more easily do business with someone you recognize from church because you know they have been there for a long time and probably won't just disappear or be a fly-by-night.
  • Where else can you look in a strangers eyes, take their hand and say "Peace be with you" or "Shalom"? It unifies humans, and removes us from our egos to say, there's someone else except yourself who might need you.
    • Your immunity is increased by being exposed to many people from your local community, thereby strengthening your immune system for anything that might be festering.
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Very practical points, thanks David, blessings galore! –  W1M0 May 12 at 8:28
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In a nutshell, going to church has to do with having fellowship with other Christians. We are parts of the Body of Christ, and without one part the Body suffers. I found an article that lists a few verses related to this.

Pastor Bob Coy from Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale recently also talked about fellowship and what it means in his sermon about Fellowship, if you are interested.

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Great article reference! Just remember to go through all the 4 pages to see all the 10 Bible references for the church, the body of Christ. –  awe Sep 8 '11 at 11:38
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One benefit was what I heard at Mass this weekend (which incidentally, I wouldn't have heard had I not been at Mass this weekend).

Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Mat 18:19-20 NAB

So, it is important for us to gather in one place and pray together. We could do this with informal prayer groups, but tradition has given us a formalized system for praying.

I pray the Rosary nearly every day, I'd like to say I pray it every day but I miss a day or two here or there, the reason I do it every day is mainly out of fear that if I miss a week, that week may become a month and that month may become a year, etc... So in the end, it's better that I do it every day.

Attendance at your church is the same way, make it a habit and it'll stick, lose the habit and you'll lose your desire.

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That's the same thing said at our Mass, it's amazing that through the whole world everyone is listening to the same word on the same day. That must be powerful in terms of getting the collective consciousness of the world in sync! –  David d C e Freitas Sep 7 '11 at 6:59
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The benefit of having hard core evidence that you do actually THINK of Jesus. Or should I take your word for it?

I guess you can think of any scapegoat to get yourself out of any commandment in the Bible. Except taking communion - remembering Christ Jesus.

It is in fact Holy. 1 Corinthians 11:27 NET, for Catholicism and Protestantism.

For this reason, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord

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