Feel Discouraged? Go to Church!

It was 11:59 PM on December 31st of 2020 and people everywhere were excited to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020! The Year of Chaos will finally be behind us and we can finally move into a new year with renewed hope and reinvigorated expectations…right? As they anticipate the joyous applause and celebration of the coming of a new year they waited for the clock to tick over from 11:59 PM to 12:00 AM when 2021 would begin. Just a few more seconds. Everyone held their breath in anticipation. They were ready to hug loved ones and rejoice with friends. Any second now…

And then it happened…

The clock ticked over from 11:59 PM to…

11:60 PM! Oh no! What a nightmare!

To call last year a challenge is an understatement. Being shut inside our homes and living in fear of a virus has taken its toll on our communities. A recent Gallup poll[1] indicates that mental health has deteriorated by an average of 9% among Americans. Depression is on the rise and there seems to be little we can do to stop it.

There is however one bright spot inside the Gallup poll. Of all those polled, one group of people showed an improvement in mental health-those that attended a church service weekly. It appears that regardless of an individual’s political persuasion or other demographic categories, church attendance had the only positive influence on the mental health of those polled. Wow! Once again, church is indeed essential!

Did you know the Bible speaks about the necessity of the church? As a matter of fact, the New Testament places a high priority on church attendance. Here are some great reasons to attend church weekly this year.

  1. Hear and Learn the Truth

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:15

The church is described as the “pillar and ground of the truth.” In a culture where truth seems hard to find, the church has been given the truth of the Word of God and the treasure of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  1. Give and Receive Encouragement

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

The church exists for mutual encouragement. Not only should you attend to receive encouragement, but there will likely be someone at church that you encourage.

  1. To Glorify God

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Ephesians 3:21

The fact that broken creatures such as ourselves can bring glory to God humbles us and builds us up at the same time. Thank you, Lord, for entrusting us with this honor.

I want to encourage you to add regular church attendance to your healthy routine. If you are unable to attend in-person services, then watch your local church’s online service. Not only is it good for you, but the Word of God instructs to make church an even higher priority as we see getting worse around us.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:25

Let’s make weekly church attendance a priority in 2021!

Stephen Monroe

Pastor of First Baptist Church of Gypsum, CO

[1] Brenan, M. (n.d.). Americans’ Mental Health Ratings Sink to New Low. Retrieved from news.gallup.com: https://news.gallup.com/poll/327311/americans-mental-health-ratings-sink-new-low.aspx?fbclid=IwAR1n2t99-zX1sfVFYWvJonxf62tgNzsFyOX7tE-w9f0lLg1Jn5s4TQ3dZDY