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Dr. Jim Brown talks about how Religion helps you stay healthyYes! You read that right. Religion helps you stay healthy!

What else should we discuss on Christmas Day, but religion?

Dr. Jim Brown discusses the benefits of going to church with me on this Christmas special, and they aren’t all just spiritual. He is a university professor teaching Technology and Psychology (that’s a weird mix…right?) and is currently the pastor of The Lake Church. Dr. Jim Brown has been a principal, superintendent, department chair at three different universities. He also served several churches and various roles from music pastor to senior pastor.

Did you know that there are benefits in the faith community to our mind, body, and spirit?

Although we still report ourselves to be a “Christian Nation”, 17% of Americans are regularly attending services (including all religions) weekly. That’s about 1 in every 5 Americans go to (church/synagogue/mosque/etc.) on a regular basis. It doesn’t mean that the 83% doesn’t go to church at all, they just don’t go on a regular basis.

Here are some of the benefits of going to church and how religion helps you stay healthy :

  • Churchgoers live longer and enjoy better overall health in the general population.  Why is this?  Does this surprise you?
    • According to Dr. Lynda Powell, Preventive Medicine Specialist at Rush University Medical Center, the answer may lie at least in part in the positive lifestyle choices that churches promote. Most religious organizations discourage negative habits like smoking, drugs, etc.
  • Frequent churchgoers are happier than those who do not attend services.  Of course, there is always the exception, and right now churchgoers might have a particular reputation of being…well…judgmental or “churchie” for lack of a better word…  But according to research on religion, it’s true.  Why is this?
    • We learn (over time) to accept life as it comes.
    • We learn (also over time) to love and accept one another.  No matter what the flaws are.  This can be one of the most difficult things to learn.
    • A support system is built in for those hard times that we all must face.
  • Regular attendance may increase lifespan.
    • Many Americans go to church because it helps them stay grounded and gives them spiritual guidance.
    • Tyler VanderWeele of Harvard said, “Church attendance promotes self-discipline and sense of meaning and purpose.”
    • Dr. Blazer, a professor of Psychiatry at Duke University said, “The one aspect that is significant of good health is religious service attendance.”
  • Couples who attend church services are less likely to divorce and have happier marriages than those who don’t attend.

To get Dr. Brown’s 11 Good Reasons to Attend Church, go to http://rockyourretirement.com/ReasonsToAttendChurch

Do you have any comments about today’s episode?  Post them in the comments section below!

Contact information for Lake Church at Lake San Marcos:

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