Whether you go every time that the doors are open or only on special occasions, there are benefits to having a church family. The more you attend, the closer the family is to you. Lives intertwine and faith is shared together as you worship. Here are five times when having a church family benefits you:
1. In times of grief, such as the loss of a loved one, a church family will bind together to lift you up. Many churches will cook food for the family. It is usually delivered to the home, although sometimes a church fellowship hall is used. The idea is that the grieving family can have a place to gather, to talk, to cry and to eat.
2. A church family always wants to be involved in a wedding. Some will arrange flowers, decorate the church or give bridal and wedding showers. You can save hundreds of dollars by letting your church family be a part of your big day. Let them cook for the reception or take pictures for you. They love helping and you receive the benefits. It’s a win/win situation.
3. Illnesses or hospitalizations will show you who your true friends really are. You will probably not be surprised to see your pastor or deacon show up to offer encouragement before a tough surgery or during a chemotherapy session. These people want to be a silent support – a way to say ‘you are not alone in this’ as you go through these trials. When the surgery is over, many of your church family members may come by to clean your home or feed your pets. They may bring food so that you do not have to cook. Some may offer to watch the kids so you can rest. These things are invaluable as you recover.
4. Counseling is a critical part of life. There are going to be times when you need good, solid advice. Maybe your marriage is on the rocks. Perhaps a child has a drug problem. Most pastors will counsel their congregants free of charge. Having the same beliefs and values as you do, you can feel confident in their counsel. Marriages can benefit from counseling to help before problems become larger. A priest or pastor can help you and your spouse navigate storms like adultery, gambling or money issues. This is all kept strictly confidential in most pastor/church member relationships.
5. Some people find it very hard to maintain social relationships. Careers and children keep them from having time for a girl’s weekend or a lunch with friends. Church families provide much-needed social interactions. Church meetings and dinners can help to fill the social void.