“I already feel bad about myself, and the church will make me feel worse!”
This is a sentiment echoed by many non-believers and Christians alike. The stigma that the church is full of self-righteous moralists is shocking to some and a fact of life for others. There’s no excuse; churches are designed for us by God to encourage fellowship and love! Fortunately, many churches are full of people who seek only to lift one another in the grace of Jesus and become the best they can be. Many studies have shown that being part of religious services can have bountiful mental health benefits.
For starters, the church allows you to be part of something bigger than yourself. Working with others on a project or volunteering at an event can help us out of our social bubbles while learning new skills, making new friends, and helping us look inward to find other areas in our life that God can help us with. Local churches are particularly great at fostering friendly and helpful communities guided by God’s love.
A church can help us live in the moment. In the modern age, we’re so often distracted by social media, the news, and other things in our life that demand our attention. At church, the only moments are for God and fellowship with your fellow Christian. When we take our time on Sunday to worship God, we are free from the chains that hold us back in daily life; making us free to live in the moment with just ourselves and the grace of God as we sing praise, confide, laugh, and celebrate with our fellow Christians.
Churches can also help us with introspective, showing us the places in our life that need to be touched by God. Churches provide quiet spaces for people to confess themselves before God. Whether on Sunday mornings or in the middle of the week, churches offer us a space to reflect on ourselves and acknowledge a course of action. They provide us a place to turn to God for grace and forgiveness and to express gratitude. Expressions of gratitude are shown to improve mental health and are something we are commanded to do as Christians.
Churches provide us with a place to grow closer to each other, God, and ourselves! When churches are places of love and fellowship, the renewal effect they can have on the faith of Christians and non-believers alike can be life-changing. Humans are communal creatures by nature; God designed us as such in His wisdom so that we could have places of fellowship like our churches. Our spiritual health and our mental health are inexplicably intertwined. Christian counseling offered at NuWell can help Christians out of their bubble and understand how a healthy church/life relationship can benefit themselves and their relationship with God.