Not long ago, Gallup Research Group did a study revealing mental health for Americans has reached an all-time low; the lowest it has been in more than two decades.
Across the board, people reported doing worse than the year prior with a 9-point drop overall. Everyone reported doing worse….except for one group.
The ONLY group that reported doing better?
People who attend worship services weekly.
Let that sink in for just a moment…
Men say they are doing worse.
Women say they are doing worse.
Republicans say their mental health is down.
Democrats say the same thing.
Marital status….various age groups….various income brackets…all down.
But those who attend a weekly worship service were up +4 points from the year prior.
I wonder if that is due to the nature of community in the body of Christ. We can sing from home, and that is good, but at church we sing together. We can pray at home, and that is good, but at church we pray together. We can worship God anywhere, and that is good, but at church we worship God together.
If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it is that church is not just about hearing a sermon. Honestly, we can do that anytime from anywhere: while driving, walking, eating, or while making pancakes in our PJ’s. (And it’s more time-efficient.)
Over the last 18 months, we have all become pretty good at taking in content online. That is not the same as community. Community is different. No matter how many Zoom meetings, podcasts, live streams, or FaceTimes we do, it is not the same as gathering together. Gathering is good. Worship is good. And interestingly enough, it is good for your mental health too!
We are certainly still in a pandemic and so we are both gathered and scattered in worship, but we are here and when you’re ready, we always love seeing your face.