Word for Word 1/25/23

Pastor Laura Gentry
Pastor Laura Gentry

Are you a member of a church?

Lots of people aren’t. A 2020 Gallup poll found that only 47% of U.S. adults belonged to a church. It’s not the norm anymore.

Nevertheless, many people find great value in belonging to a church. Let me share with you some of the important benefits.

Sense of community
Personal connections are vital to our health. High social relationships can lower rates of anxiety and depression, heighten self-esteem, and even increase longevity by 50%. Historically, churches have provided people with a sense of community, friendship and belonging. According to an article in Psychology Today, feeling that you belong is most important in seeing value in life and in coping with painful emotions. Research also shows that it improves your motivation, health and happiness. After the isolation caused by the pandemic, our need for community is greater than ever.

Personal growth
Another benefit to membership is personal growth. Becoming a church member takes commitment. Let’s face it: commitment is hard but it has its rewards. When you commit to a church you attend more, you give more, you pray more and as a result, you may find your faith growing. You might even end up serving in a leadership capacity. Not only will this help you grow spiritually and personally, it will enable you to help others grow as well.

Volunteer opportunities
Volunteering has a host of benefits: the chance to learn new skills, meet new people, and make a difference in your community and, thus, make it better. Church provides ample volunteer opportunities so you can shine your light. Fun and meaningful events Being a member of a church is actually fun! You have opportunities to attend and organize fun and meaningful events. They can offer chances to form friendships, build professional relationships, and strengthen your connection with God.

If you’re not already a part of a church, I encourage you to explore the possibility. Visit local churches. You can find the times and locations here in the Standard. Talk with the members and pastors. It is my prayer that you discover a church where you’ll find your belonging.

Pastor Laura Gentry
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Lansing