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Ten Practical Reasons to Join a Faith Community and Go to Church

Updated on June 9, 2017
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Janis spends a lot of time offering up her talents and treasures at her church in Washington, DC where she serves as Outreach Co-chair.

Faith Community Icons: Madonna and Child

An iconic symbol in the Christian church, this bas relief Madonna and Child hangs in the narthex of Saint George's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC.
An iconic symbol in the Christian church, this bas relief Madonna and Child hangs in the narthex of Saint George's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC. | Source

Church Membership

Are you a member of a church, temple, synagogue, or masjid?

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Church Attendance Increases During Specific Times of the Year

During holidays and specific times of the year, we see church attendance increase as individuals attend mass or worship services with immediate family, relatives, and friends. These services include Easter, Passover, Lent, Christmas, and even New Year's Eve. Going back to church for special services is a common activity for many, bringing family back together for prayer and opportunities to increase faith.

Whether we are kept away by long distances or just the day-to-day busy routines of life, it's not easy for everyone to maintain a spiritual life that includes regular church attendance. Many people have left the church for various reasons including disillusionment, conflict, hypocrisy, traumatic experiences, or disagreement with the tenets and doctrines of religious institutions. Others have simply come to regard church membership with low priority, not having necessity in living out good and decent lives.

But there are practical reasons to consider why becoming part of a church or worship community may be a good idea, even if only a small percentage of the population are participating regularly.

Church Attendance According to Research

Unfortunately, it's hard to know which research to believe when it comes to data collection about church attendance in America.

It depends on who's conducting the research and what their agendas are as it relates to denomination and organizational ties. Just as important is how the research questions are posed to and answered by the respondents and what "regular attendance," "active participation," and "membership" mean to them.

As it stands now, the general consensus is that less than 20% of Americans attend church every weekend or at least on a regular basis.

One fact most researchers agree upon is that there is a disconnect between what Americans say about their church attendance and what they actually do. In any case, the unanswered questions remain: "Why people seek membership, why they continue to go, and what they get out of it." These questions may be partially answered by looking at the practical reasons people join a church.

An Episcopal Church Building

In the heart of the Le Droit Park and Bloomingdale communities sits Saint George's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC
In the heart of the Le Droit Park and Bloomingdale communities sits Saint George's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC | Source

Becoming a Member of a Faith Community

Are you currently looking for a church home or place of worship?

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A Common Sighting in Anglican and Roman Catholic Church Communities

This Byzantine Madonna and Child lithograph hangs in the narthex of Saint George's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.
This Byzantine Madonna and Child lithograph hangs in the narthex of Saint George's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. | Source

Ten Practical Reasons to Join a Church Community

As a regular church goer since childhood, being a part of a church community is an integral part of my routine and existence. So I speak from life-long experience about what I deem as advantageous about belonging to a church community.

The following suggestions are not given from an ultra-religious viewpoint but from a practical one, without the intent to influence or convert anyone to any particular faith or denomination.

This article is about being a member of a community or "church family" where the unexpected amenities of membership come in the form of gifts and blessings.

Becoming active in a faith community or church group can enhance the life of a potential member in the following ways, outlined below.

  1. Having a regular place to anchor and replenish - a familiar church house, synagogue, masjid or mosque, Kingdom Hall, or temple gives a worshiper a place to call his spiritual home to which he can return anytime; a place of prayer fosters a sense of spiritual identity and belonging to something outside of self.
  2. Building close relationships with supportive people who understand you based on having similar spiritual journeys - making lasting friendships with church members you can call on socially or in a time of crisis is an invaluable advantage of having connections to a community.
  3. Getting involved in volunteer work and outreach ministries - there are always opportunities to engage in service to those in need as a team of church members; there are also opportunities for members to participate in support groups, classes, and retreats hosted by the church for expanded learning and spiritual growth.
  4. Having exposure to opportunities to participate in leadership activities - a church organization is a great place to build social, leadership, and team-building skills as you learn the programmatic side of how an organization runs.

Thom S. Rainer on Church Membership (Christian Faith)

5. Engaging in any tasks or ministry work as a member of a church gives you extra skills to place on a resume - work is work regardless of the setting; ministry work also tells potential employers something about your good character.

6. Being able to receive communion on a regular basis - for those who are Christian, having access to the gifts of the sacraments, becoming one with Christ, is a way to cleanse, heal, renew, and transform the body, soul, and spirit.

7. Having the ability to ask for financial help during a financial crisis - some churches keep a discretionary fund available for members of the church who may find themselves in a bind.

8. Having a place to baptize or christen a newborn - families and parents may go for months before making a decision about baptism because they feel badly about not belonging to a church home, afraid to ask for the privilege from a church they aren't affiliated with by attendance.

9. Having comfort in knowing you have a place out of which to bury a loved one or have your own funeral - everyone wants to honor the life of their loved one properly, without the added burden of figuring out where to have the funeral; often times, the benevolent or hospitality committee will handle the logistics and cooking of the repast, giving the family one less thing to worry about during a time of mourning.

10. Having a place to hold a wedding ceremony, blessed by God, in the presence of relatives, friends, and church family - with destination weddings and big production weddings away from one's home church becoming the standard, it's good to know options exist as an active member of a church community to have a church wedding and a minister to officiate.

A Masjid is Open for Daily Prayer

The Masjid Mohammad, the Nation's Mosque, is located in the heart of Washington, DC.
The Masjid Mohammad, the Nation's Mosque, is located in the heart of Washington, DC. | Source

Rabbis Laura Baum and Robert Barr on Jewish Identity/Membership in Community

A Traditional Episcopal Service

Celebrants and acolytes approach the altar to begin a special service at Saint George's in Washington, DC.
Celebrants and acolytes approach the altar to begin a special service at Saint George's in Washington, DC. | Source

Discerning Your Church Membership

Making a decision to become a member of a church community takes a great deal of thought and discernment. It is primarily a spiritual decision which takes into account one's religious experiences and upbringing, unresolved questions about faith, and an ongoing quest for truth, peace, and relationship with God. Only the individual can come to that spiritual clarity in deciding what faith community will work best to address those questions.

In the meantime, the purpose of this article was to present the practical advantages of being a member of a faith community. It's easy to become so lost within the quagmire of our inner conflicts that we lose sight of the positive side of having connections to others through membership.

Take some time to contemplate the blessings within a spiritually-based, supportive environment offered by a faith community. Think about the ways in which it could be helpful to make connections through membership and participation. A feeling of belonging is a basic need we have as human beings, promoting our psychological health and sense of well-being.

© 2013 Janis Leslie Evans

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    • Carola Finch profile image

      Carola Finch 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Well done. I have benefited greatly from being in a faith community myself. I have so many friends and opportunities to use my talents that would not be available to me anywhere else as well as the spiritual benefits.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you janshares for writing this. Voted up!

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks for reading, word55.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you Carola Finch. Glad you liked it and can relate.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      My hubby and I just started attending a small church just over a month ago. It embarrasses all faiths and is very loving and more spiritual than dogmatic and we are both loving it. I do feel that we need to take care of our spirit and make a practise of remembering what is really important in our short dance on this earth, and ritual and attendance with like minded people sure does help me. Great hub and thank you!

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Sheri Faye, I'm so pleased to hear that this hub confirmed your experience. I wish you well at your new church. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      We enjoy our church family to gather to worship together and pray for each other and feel like we belong and feel connected to the community through ministries of the church.

      Wonderful hub! Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you much, Faith Reaper. I know I'm "preaching to the choir" with you on this one. :-) I'm grateful for the comments and the sharing!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great article on an important topic. You listed very good benefits of belonging to a church. Nowadays with so many online worship services, it is easy to skip around and listen; but the opportunity to serve is one opportunity that's missing. Voted Up!

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Great point you make, MsDora. Face-to-face, hands-on service is key to active participation in a church community. Thank you so much for your comment and vote.

    • profile image

      shakir t. muslim 3 years ago

      thanks for this article on faith communities

      community is what keeps us together as one

      human family, including all faiths working to keep the human soul as one with the many

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you so much for visiting and reading this article, shakir. It means a lot that you appreciate the message and the oneness of community between us all.

    • profile image

      Mrs. Juanita 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for informing us about the church and the way people are looking at religion today. They feel that they don't need God or just to busy to let Him be a part of their lives.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you so much for those comments, Mrs. Junaita. I appreciate your visit.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Thanks for your comment today on my Hub on a similar subject which speaks to religiosity and what some see as that "practical" side of being "churched." Your points are well presented and thorough. The competitive nature of some congregations seems to me to be a hazard facing a congregant's search for greater humility and truth. Find the truth and you come close to finding it all. Absorbing and consecrating oneself to that truth is a step further. Our free agency is the one gift we can give back to God, and I love the expression that we should strive each day to "Give God the joy of loving you at your best." (Marvin Ashton)

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      You're welcome, Perspycacious. I really enjoyed your hub and saw the similarites between them. I was hoping this one would catch your eye. I'm so pleased you liked it. I appreciate your thoughtful comments and the quote. Thanks for stopping by.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

      This is a wonderful article that many people need to read. Most do not realize that going to Church is more than a Sunday morning visit.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Absolutely, TIMETRAVELER2. Thanks for reading this hub.

    • TedWritesStuff profile image

      Ted 3 years ago from The World

      Interesting theory. I couldn't disagree more, but hey to each their own I say.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Interesting hub. I am not a member of any faith community, however, you have made useful points about the benefits of belonging to such a community.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day Award!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Janshares

      You covered this so well. Number one is such an important reason...the others of course are to but that one is one of the single most important reasons to me.

      Cograts too on HOTD

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • profile image

      Hxprof 3 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

      Interesting read, though I'm accord with another reader on disagreeing with much of what you've said. Churches, synagogs, mosques and other places of gathering like this are established for the coming together of like minded believers, not so an attendee can place extra skills on their resume. Granted, a church is a place where one may obtain baptism or begin a marriage. Sadly, what I've seen in so many instances is that people who don't share the beliefs of the congregation (I might say they don't share the doctrinal beliefs of the church), attend the church regularly for a while so they can get married there, with the purpose of having their marriage "blessed by God" or getting their child baptized, and not long after that they leave! Basically, these couples simply use the church as a tool to advance their own agenda, with no regard for God's will in their lives. It's a farce.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi TedWritesStuff, thanks so much for stopping by to express your opinion. I value honesty more than you know, especially more than a need for everyone to agree (so boring, huh?). I appreciate your taking the time to read it.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, DreamerMeg. I appreciate your reading it and recognizing the practical benefits. Thanks for visiting.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Dora. I'm shocked, just found out a few minutes ago. I can't believe it. Completely unexpected.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, pstraubie48. I appreciate your comments and congrats. Yes, a sense of belonging is of utmost importance and need for replenishment.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Hxprof. You are so right about couples attending so they can get married or baptize their child, then soon leave. I've seen it in my own church and it does bother me. They seem to want the "blessings" without participation and membership. I really appreciate your thoughtful comments and your opinion. You make good points. Thank you so much for stopping by.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      First I have to agree with everyone, this is a great hub covering a subject we are all touched by at one time or another. Next I have to admit I was very surprised that "less than 20% of Americans attend church every weekend or at least on a regular basis." I know there are some who would disagree, but, without God we are nothing.

      Having Faith, loving God and loving one another is what makes this life worth living. Ooops, I'm off on a tangent. Getting back, this is a great hub pointing out many reasons to belong to a Church Community and I just wanted to add love is another.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Congratulations on the HOTD!

    • Blessed Success profile image

      Sandy J Duncan 3 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

      I'm so thankful for this great post. The answer to many of this countries woes could be solved if we fill up the pews and get people back to the things that matter most in life. God is so good!

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi tillsontitan. Please, don't hold back, say it like you meant it my friend! Thank you kindly for the comments and congrats. You speak the truth about LOVE as the ultimate reason to belong. Well said, thanks.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Oh, Blessed Success, thank you for taking the time to read this hub. I'm glad you liked it. God is indeed so good. I appreciate your visit.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      We just found a Church that accepts my son with Autism. It was a hard road to find one around here. We've been going regularly since my grandfather passed away. He picked the pastor for his funeral service. I feel as if my grandfather led us to this church. I too had gone to church since a young child. It's also fun to belong to the activities such as music. I played in the church orchestra when I was a teenager.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks for sharing, Crafty. Good to know you found a place of solace for your family through your grandfather, God bless his soul. I appreciate your touching comments and visit.

    • Inspired Heart profile image

      Yvette Stupart 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day! Thanks for your hub janshares. I really identify with all 10 of the reasons you give to join a church community. Being a part of my church community is dear to my heart.

    • profile image

      ALJ 3 years ago

      That is an interesting article.

      Of course, it presumes a faith in the supernatural and an acceptance of the religious doctrines of whatever church or temple one attends.

      I suppose I want to say that yes, a religious community *can* offer these things but so can a non-religious community. And that actually, there is only one honest reason for attending the rituals of any religion - and that is because you genuinely believe in them.

      So I find it curious that you suggest a range of religious groups which are all in doctrinal conflict.

      It would be deeply hypocritical to attend church solely for the social benefits and work or volunteering opportunities it might afford, to boost your resume, get cheap credit - or just to have a pretty place to get married.

      Obviously, a church community provides all the benefits that any social organisation affords to its members and that's fine. It's worth pointing out, however, that many secular groups and organisations offer exactly the same quality of support and opportunity to their members but don't demand lip-service to a religious belief.

      You have obviously won some sort of prize for this article and I am sure - even though I don't think we'd see eye to eye on the subject - that you deserve it for the quality of the writing and the presentation.

      Thank you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day, janshares! Your hub is interesting, attractive and well written. I enjoyed reading it and looking at the photos. I'm sure the hub will be useful for those who believe in religious teachings.

    • AMFredenburg profile image

      Aldene Fredenburg 3 years ago from Southwestern New Hampshire

      Congratulations, janshares! A lot to think about. Shared.

    • profile image

      Mklow1 3 years ago

      ALJ said: "And that actually, there is only one honest reason for attending the rituals of any religion - and that is because you genuinely believe in them."

      That is incorrect because the belief is the most IMPORTANT reason, but not the only. If that were the case, then any old Catholic church would be OK for any Catholic, but that isn't the case. People like to be around like minded people and there are groups inside the groups so to speak. Some churches have a younger congregation and focus on a more progressive message and music. Some churches have an older membership and might focus on a more hard line message (this is just as an example and not always the case). I have seen a couple of responses like yours and it really surprises me that there are those that don't get that because different people prefer different things. Plus, anything in life that one does has many pros and many cons.

      ALJ said: "I suppose I want to say that yes, a religious community *can* offer these things but so can a non-religious community. "

      No one said they don't. I belong to a church, but I also belong to groups that are non-religious, such as the Toastmasters. This Hub happens to be specifically about good reasons to go to church.

      ALJ said: "So I find it curious that you suggest a range of religious groups which are all in doctrinal conflict."

      Umm, hate to break this to you, but just like there are many different types of religions in the world, there are many different types of readers. With that said, those different people with different beliefs might read this article, therefore the Hubber presents many different options. This is an article about the reasons to go to church, not necessarily the reasons to believe one philosophy.

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 3 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

      No matter the faith, worship is always a means to gather and celebrate ... I wanted to congratulate you on a job well done ... hooray for Hub of the Day! Z

    • profile image

      mbuggieh 3 years ago

      If membership in a church is about social networking, then what distinguishes church membership from membership in a country club or any other secular social group?

      In some ways, your article reinforces for me what I have believed for some time: Church is just another social gathering place for most people; just another social place to make contacts, network, and to congregate with like-minded people.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 3 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Maybe church can be a social gathering but it one where you are accepted without obligation with no regard to sex or colour, age or disability. A church is a community of people who come together at various times to celebrate their religious beliefs. I think that many of the western worlds population would benefit from the support that a church community gives them.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for acknowledging the importance of church community in your life, Inspired Heart. I appreciate the comments and viisit.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you kindly, ALJ, for your comments. I accept the good points you make, especially about hypocrisy. I am open to your views and appreciate your taking the time to read this article. Thanks for the kudos about my writing and presentation. It means a lot.

    • profile image

      Mklow1 3 years ago

      mbuggieh,

      It is pretty obvious that the intentions of the Hub is to bring up reasons OTHER than the most common reason to go to church, which is the belief in the religion and that particular branch of that religion. That should have been kind of understood without the author having to say it.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for those comments, AliciaC. I appreciate your visit, glad you enjoyed it.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you very much, AMFredenburg. I'm grateful for the share!

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Very well put, Mklow1. I really appreciate you getting my drift, so to speak. But still, I do genuinely accept the positions of all of my readers. Thank you so much for your comments and thoughtful critique of this hub.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Your point is well-taken, Z. Thanks so much for your visit and congrats.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Not necessarily but I appreciate your point. It certainly seems that way in some churches. My last paragraph emphasizes what it really should be about - spirituality, faith, and one's own choices about religious beliefs. Thank you for taking the time to read this hub and leave comments that make us all think.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, CASE1WORKER, for your comments about choice, inclusion, and acceptance, very important in a sincere church communiy.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      These are excellent reasons! Just make sure you join a church that is legitimate, and won't undermine your efforts to live a good life.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

      This is a timely article - the holidays often find people seeking for more meaning in life, and a sense of community. My church is a big part of my life, and has brought me many wonderful friends. Nicely done hub, and so deserving of the HOTD!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Congrats on HOTD, didn't read everything because my glasses broke today..lol. I wan't to come back and read when my glasses is fixed. But I agree with your reasons for attending church. I see some people disagree but many people attend church for different reasons. Some go to find spouses, others go because they fear hell and some just need a place of refuge. Love what you wrote...will come back later.

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Some good reasons to be part of a church community. And well done on getting HOTD. I've been part of a church for most of my life and always find it a warm and welcoming place where you can make good friendships.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Say Yes To Life, well said. Thanks for stopping by.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks so much Marcy, timely indeed at this time of the year. The other time is Easter. :-) I appreciate your visit and comments.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Aww thanks, Cardisa. Your visit and comments mean a lot because you were one of the first hubbers to comment on my hubs. I'm so glad you liked it.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      So glad you can relate, dwelburn. I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to read this hub. Thank you very much.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      A beautiful Hub full of great reasons to join a church. Great job and Congratulations.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you very much, rebeccamealey, for reading this hub and congratulating me. I appreciate it.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Congrats Dear jan on the HOTD!!! Well-deserved.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • JenniferPherson profile image

      JenniferPherson 3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      I have continued to have faith and my own relationship with God despite growing up in a church environment that caused me a considerable amount of bad experiences. The other kids were just as mean to me, if not more, than the ones at school. I also remember attending church camp and listening to a youth pastor preach to adolescents about how their way is the only way, and pretty much everyone else is going to Hell (and I mean over 100 people). Even at 11 years old I knew there was something wrong. I haven't found where I do belong yet and I want to so badly. I believe it takes a village to raise a child, and I wish mine had that sense of community. I started Ohio Christian University fervently as a transfer, and it's really bringing this to light for me.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you much, Faith. Bless you.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Jennifer, your comments are very much appreciated. Your experience illustrates how negative influences cause confusion and spiritual conflict. Good to know your faith has remained in spite of those influences. Thank you for sharing and reading this hub. I wish you peace and success in your studies.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      I agree, having a church or a church community can be such a great thing. I am Wiccan & my husband is Pagan so a traditional church was out for us-- but we joined a Unitarian Universalist church; we have many friends there who are atheists, agnostic, Buddhists, liberal Jews & Christians, Hindu, Native American, etc.-- and most of us came with our families to give the kids that sense of community and try to navigate the joys and sorrows of life together. I did it mainly for the kids-- who are now in their teens/20s and really have benefited from our years in our church, many of which you list here. But I got even more out of it than I thought I would, too.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Wiccan Sage, I so very much appreciate your comments as you share a positive experience in a church community with your family. Thank you for highlighting the inclusiveness of the Unitarian Universalist church and the fact that ALL can bond in community, regardless of their different belief systems. In the end, we are indeed all human, shedding the same blood, sweat, and tears.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      JenniferPherson - it sounds like you were in a cult! That is one of the definitive signs of one; claiming to be the Only Way, while the rest of the world is going to hell. I'm glad you found a better church to attend!

    • JenniferPherson profile image

      JenniferPherson 3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Well it was pentecostal/apostolic too.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Cults come in all religions and denominations. What makes it a cult is the way it is abused.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      When I got married I told my husband he could take me to church every week or pay for a therapist. It was his choice. Thirty-seven years later church has gotten us through the good times and the bad times. Because of Army life, we've been members of about a dozen.

      Congrats on HOD. You might be interested in a hub of mine on what changes a building into a church. Blessings.

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Kathleen, love your comments, you made me chuckle. What a blessing that belonging to a church has brought you through as a couple. Thank you so much for reading this hub and for the congrats. I will definitely look at your hub.

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      John Fox 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Churches in general are a double edged sword. With any church you are rolling the dice on what you are going to get because what works for one will not work for another. I am what people would call an "Agnostic Theist" meaning that I do accept the idea of there being an all powerful, universe running God, but I can't prove his existence or origin.

      With that being said do I agree with going to church? Yes I do. I don't personally go due to my own beliefs but I believe that a truly honest, giving, charitable, and non corrupt church can do wonders for communities in need. I've seen churches hold events locally like canned food drives to feed the hungry, or donate clothes to the church for those who can't afford clothes. Churches even for the non-religious can be a great place. On the other side of that you have corrupt ones where the leaders of it are there for money or to spout insanity. The ones that twist, contort, and turn god's word into something negative with the whole argument of "if you don't believe like me you're going to hell". That's not all churches but some are like that. I can't say if it's a particular one either because group of churches you have there are bad apples.

      In short churches regardless of faith can be a great thing for the community and give people a place to worship together and learn to be better people, but you have to choose wisely and not believe the propaganda of the "God Fearing" instead of "God Loving" churches.

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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Excellent analysis of the contradictions different churches present. You are on point with your sentiments. Thank you so much for coming by to read this hub and leave comments.

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      Kathy Carr 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      I thought it interesting that you listed various places to fellowship without the distinction between them. What makes for a wholistc place of worship for one may not hold true for the next. The bottom line is every man, woman, must give an account for how they live in this life to the all mighty God. I appreciate what you did in this Hub. Congrats.

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      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Kathy Carr, for your congrats. I appreciate your visit and comment about individual accounting to God almighty, regardless of the distinct choice of fellowship. So glad you liked this hub and got my point.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      I agree with everything you're saying. I know I have a strong, personal relationship with Jesus. The thing is, I have opinions that many Christian churches won't accept, especially concerning gay marriage. However, all your points are reasons why I'd like to be part of a church. Best way is to pray for God to lead me where he wants me to go. Great article:)

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      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Absolutely the right idea, grand old lady. Pray about it until you are lead to the right place. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      It's good to see to a list of the practical sides. My sister's church has a network of people who take pre-made dinners to members who are new mothers, people who have just had surgery, etc. There's also a member directory that includes contacts for services so you can start with someone you know and trust (a doctor, a plumber, etc.).

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      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Those are great ideas for ministry, thanks for sharing. It's so nice to see you, FlourshAnyway. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.

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      Uzochukw Mike 2 years ago from Oba

      Janshares, I see this your piece as being unique and exceptional. Shared, pinned, and voted up. You are really doing nice work here.

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      Janis Leslie Evans 8 months ago from Washington, DC

      You're welcome, Dennis. I appreciate the visit, glad you liked the article. I'm interested in your research, will check it out.

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      Gina Henrie 8 months ago

      My husband and I have been thinking about joining a church, and are trying to weigh the pros and cons. We like the idea of building relationships and friendships with people who have a similar spiritual journey. We feel like that could be really wonderful. That's neat that members can participate in support groups, classes, and retreats as well. There seems like so many great opportunities that come from going! We look forward to finding one.

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      Janis Leslie Evans 8 months ago from Washington, DC

      That's good to hear, Gina. I wish you and your husband well on your faith journey. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave such a nice comment. I hope it helps you make the best choice of a faith community.

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      Janis Leslie Evans 8 months ago from Washington, DC

      I'm happy to hear that reading this article helped you with your decision to explore faith communities further. Thank you so much for your visit.

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