8 Non-Religious Reasons To Take Your Kids To Church

20 months.

Year after year, polls like this recent one by Gallup show that “churchgoers” not only experience more positive emotions but also less negative emotions than people who do not regularly attend church, synagogue, or mosque.

So maybe you’re not like me; having been intrigued since Kindergarten on how we all got here and what happens to us after we die.

This is for the agnostics who are curious about taking their kids to church, as well as, for those who haven’t had much exposure to church but are curious enough to consider checking it out.

Therefore, I am attempting to explain why going to church is a good idea for you and your kids, not from a religious perspective, but from more of a scientific one.

1. Friends. For you as well as your kids. Most of my friends and my wife’s friends are somehow traced back to our church. In fact, we met each other through a mutual friend that I met through a group of friends I knew through my church.

2. Community. Similarly, you find yourself among other people who are bound to have things in common with you and your children; even if it’s just the fact you are parents with kids around the same age at the same place.

3. Activities and events. There is always something happening on the church calendar and much of it involves free food. Not to mention, most of the activities themselves don’t cost anything to participate. Basically, it’s free entertainment with families you have stuff in common with.

4. Child care. Free child care. While you are in the main worship service, as well as Sunday School, your kids are being supervised and taught in their own age appropriate Sunday School and worship service where they make you crafts out of construction paper and popsicle sticks.

5. Family values. Church is a great place to get moral reinforcement. It’s no secret that pop culture, everyday life, and even just our own negativity can be a drag on our ideal personal standards.

6. Motivation. Imagine the hope that comes out of the belief that the creator of this universe not only loves you but has a plan for your life. When you go to and belong to a church, you are exposed to a way of thinking that ultimately affects how you see the world, yourself, and others.

7. Opportunities to help others. You’d be amazed at some of the unique ways you can help others and your community through your church. It is likely you will find a venue to serve others in a way that is framed around your talents and abilities.

8. Routine. When you expose yourself and your kids to all this positivity every week, after a while you’re bound to see a noticeable difference in the way your family interacts.

Even if you have trouble believing in all the religious aspects of going to church, there is evidently something to the fact that people who go are generally more positive and less negative.

The way I look at it; even if at the end of my life I was wrong about God this entire time and when we die, we just die and that’s it, I still wouldn’t regret having believed.

Because if nothing else, I had a sense of hope amidst all of life’s uncertainties. Not to mention, as the polls show, I lived a happier life than had I not believed.

But I do believe. And I invite you to check it out. Even if it’s just for your kid.

Feel free to email me (look at the top right side of this page) if you’d like for me to personally help you find some good churches in your area. I’ll try to make sure you don’t end up going to some kooky place where they drink poisoned Kool-Aid or attempt to catch a ride in a UFO that follows a magical comet.

(Or read the follow-up post I wrote a couple of days after I published this one, A Non-Churchgoer’s Guide For Finding A Church For Your Family.)

Top photo: Chapel Sign via Shutterstock.

Bottom photo: Childcare Concept via Shutterstock.

 

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  1. by Amanda

    On August 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I would like to find a Church. I believe on God, reincarnation, and not in sin. It’s hard to find an open minded Church.

  2. by Suzy

    On August 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Mr. Shell, I enjoyed your article and I do also believe we need to be open-minded and share various beliefs and religions with our children. However, the study you based your article on was regarding “churchgoers”, not necessarily ‘believers’. There may be people who attend church just for the reasons you stated, family values, community, and activities. I mean, the title of your article is “8 Non-Religious Reasons to Take Your Children to Church” isn’t the idea to appeal to the non-religious to take their children to church?
    Not all church-goers are believers, and not all believe in the same thing. So when you say that, “as the polls show, I lived a happier life than had I not believed,” its a misnomer. The study pertained to church-goers so ending the article on a believer note makes the preceding seems manipulative.

  3. by Nick Shell

    On August 9, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks Suzy. I see your point. I thought about that shortly after I published it. Good eye.

  4. by Laura

    On August 10, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Non-religious reasons? That’s the ONLY reason people go to church…to experience the communion of being with other believers. There is nothing scientific whatsoever about religion and using “science” to try and draw in non-believers to your article is misleading at best. Please don’t confuse rationalizing with approaching something scientifically. I get what you’re trying to say, but non-believers generally already have a set of morals, friends, sense of community, weekly routines with their kids, and access to childcare. Church isn’t necessary for any of those things and most non-believers really DON’T have anything in common with believers, based on the way we live our lives. Most of us simply choose to spend time with people we actually do have things in common with. I understand that you’re trying to be a good person and bring others a positive experience, but it just seems like your viewpoint is coming from an assumption that it’s impossible to find joy without religion and that non-believers must necessarily be depressed/left out/anti-social, and it’s simply not true. Please try talking to some actual non-believers and you’ll see that people can be joyful and moral and lead good lives without religion and that we are not to be pitied.

  5. by FreeThoughtStorm

    On August 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Hogwash. The only reason to bring a child to a church is to indoctrinate them into whatever flavor of faith that is being pushed at said church. As a non believer I find this offensive. My family can access all of these reasons without the added indoctrination.

  6. by Dan

    On August 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    When my kids are old enough to decide for themselves they will have the option to go to any religious ritual they want, but I will never subject them to church as young children. Church does a great job teaching kids, who believe anything they hear, very crazy stuff and making sure they believe them it they are old enough to think about it. These “non-religious” reasons are weak at best and little more than a shilling effort by a Christian to get non-believers to come in.

    @Amanda. Look for a Unitarian church, they are very open minded.

  7. by Stephanie

    On August 11, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I have mixed feelings about this article. While I would always encourage new members to join a faith, it doesn’t appear that is what you’re encouraging. It is almot like you are encouraging people to use ther local members of faith for free food, child care, and social networking. And if, indeed, that is what you’re doing, it is not something I would ethically agree with. Churches are houses of worship and not country clubs. While there are social aspects of church, and benefits to the social well-being of the members, let us not forget the most important reason for attendance – our relationship with God. If you’re encouraging the masses to flood local chuches for any reason other than spiritual involvement as the primary draw, I think you may be misleading those that are not interested in a relationship with their Heavenly Father. You will also be doing harm to the families who are committed to doing the Lord’s service, by the distraction caused by those there for “free childcare, food, and activities”. I think promoting church as the likes of a theme park could prove to be damaging to those with and without faith and there is a more responsible approach that could be taken if one wants to bring new members into their fold.

  8. by Renee

    On August 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I attend a Unitarian Universalist church…its one of maybe 2-3 churches out there that the “agnostics” you direct this article to MAY feel comfortable and get something out of.

    If one does not believe, they cannot make themselves believe because they want “free childcare”. If a person wants to open themselves up to different belief systems, or find a church that works for them, that’s great. But let’s not pretend that atheists and agnostics the world round are going to give a crap about this article. It’s insulting to both the people you direct it at and the churches you are advertising as something for the non-religious to do on Sunday morning.

  9. by Sandra

    On August 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I am a non-religious person who takes my child to church every Sunday. I’m not living in my hometown and church is a great way to meet people and socialize. My child is learning to interact not only with his peers, but other adults as well.

    Church services are preparing my child for school. He is learning to listen, or more precisely, how to be quiet, follow directions, and how to sing. He’s being exposed to public speaking, musical instruments, and new opportunities.

    As long as I am helping support the church financially and volunteering when I’m able to, I believe it is a win-win situation for the church. After all, wouldn’t they prefer an active non-religious person verses a non-active religious person. Who knows, if I go enough, maybe the church will convert me.

  10. by JonB

    On August 14, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Lame. Those statistic might very well be correct, but only if you are a believer. I’d really have to imagine it would have quite the opposite effect on folks who disagreed with the worldview being presented at the church.
    Friends are going to be easier to connect with, and have far more potential when that friendship was based on common interests, so an agnostic at a church is not going to be as likely to find commonalities.
    A better place to find parents with kids of like ages as your own, and support community projects for an atheist or agnostic could be a school.
    It certainly doesn’t seem proper to show up at church for free food, or child care.
    I could continue to dissect your list but the overlying theme is quite clear. These are all outstanding reasons for a person of faith to attend services, and just plain terrible advice for an atheist or agnostic family. None of these are Non religious reasons to attend at all as the title to this article suggests.

  11. by Lauren

    On August 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    It’s encouraging to see that you want to expose your kids to church; however, I would strongly warn you not to go to a Christian church for those reasons. As one poster said, real churches aren’t intended to be country clubs; they are houses of worship where believers come together to fellowship. If you keep on attending without any intention of becoming a member, or if you try to start helping with things like Awana and youth group, you could very well be turned away if the leadership feels that your presence isn’t helping the church to grow spiritually. So just tread lightly there.

  12. by Tracey

    On August 16, 2012 at 1:47 am

    It is oobvious that we “Christians”, Believers, Followers and Servants to our Father and Jesus Christ…have some work to do! This is why I am releaved to know that Jesus protects (the salvation) of our young! Especially those whose parents are forbidding them from learning about Christ! You may be saying that U would never FORCE someones opinion on them, but you are! Yours! I will pray for all who are lost, slipping or confused!

  13. by BJ

    On August 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    This is ridiculous. I’d rather sleep in than fill my kids’ heads with fairy tales. I was forced to go to church, and I’m glad now that I’m older and an atheist that I can argue the Bible better than most so-called “Christians” I encounter. Oh, and I’m quite content with my life without the need for a “savior.”

  14. by Around the Web… |

    On August 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    [...] Non-religious reasons to take your kids to church – Parents.com [...]

  15. by A Guide to Choosing a Church (A Challenge)

    On August 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    [...] I want to say this is not an attack on Mr. Shell.  I really liked Mr. Nick Shell’s article 8 Non-Religious Reasons To Take Your Kids To Church. I highly recommend it for non-church going folk because I think he is spot on. I thought it was a [...]

  16. [...] are looking for in a church.  They may even help you sort out what you believe.  While there are non-religious reasons for having a church community, there are also good religious reasons as well.  Close friends are a [...]

  17. by Leron

    On August 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for this post. I appreciate it. I feel that our little guy (4) is more prepared for preschool because he understands sitting still, meeting new people, making friends, etc. I believe strongly in the need for God in our lives and especially starting at a young age. It is believed that most Christians became Christians between 4-14 years of age. I feel that it’s good for them to be surrounded by positive role models in a good environment. Thanks again.

  18. by Nick Shell

    On August 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    You’re welcome! Thanks for reading it, Leron.

  19. by Joe

    On March 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    This is ludicrous. Are you trying to be serious with this article?

  20. [...] a year and a half ago, I wrote “8 Non-Religious Reasons To Take Your Kids To Church,” in which I closed by stating my thoughts on the choice to live a life based on faith in [...]