Multiple research studies now show that those who regularly attend church services are healthier and live longer. A 2016 JAMA Internal Medicine study reported that “women who went to any kind of religious service more than once a week had a 33% lower chance than their secular peers of dying during the 16-year study-follow-up period” (Time, February 15, 2018). A 2017 study published in PLOS One reported that “regular [church] service attendance was linked to reductions in the body’s stress responses and even in mortality—so much so that worshippers were 55% less likely to die during the up to 18-year follow-up period than people who didn’t frequent the temple, church or mosque.” Those who are religious but who do not attend services regularly do not experience these benefits.
Why is church attendance beneficial? Researchers suggest that “factors related to churchgoing—like having a network of social support, an optimistic attitude, better self-control and a sense of purpose in life—may account for the long-life benefits….” Researchers also credit “the values drawn from religious tradition—such as respect, compassion, gratitude, charity, humility, harmony, meditation and preservation of health” with tending to lead to longer life.
God not only set the seventh-day Sabbath apart as a holy time in which no work should be done (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:8-11), He also commanded His people to assemble together on that day (Leviticus 23:3). Later in the Bible, the Apostle Paul repeated the importance of assembling together on the Sabbath (Hebrews 10:24-25; 4:9). Science is now shedding light on the importance of church attendance in general. How much more beneficial and pleasing to God is it when we not only assemble together, but worship Him in spirit and in truth on His holy Sabbath day (John 4:24). For more information on the importance of attending weekly Sabbath services, read or listen to Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?