In November, our denominational magazine, The Church Herald, ran a fascinating blurb entitled, “Attending Church Can Help Teen School Grades.” This article explained research from the University of Iowa that evidenced two main effects of teen churchgoing:
- higher than average grades and,
- more likely to graduate.
The researchers found that church attendance was a greater factor on grades and graduation than whether the parents had graduated from college.
This interesting study went on to suggest four reasons church going teens are more successful in school:
- they have regular contact with adults from various generations that can serve as role models;
- the teens’ parents are more likely to communicate with their friends’ parents;
- the teens tend to develop friendships at church with kids of similar values; and,
- the teens are more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.
Just how strong is the correlation between church and school for teens? Compared with kids who do not attend church, churchgoing teens have a 60% higher graduation rate.
So what am I trying to say by publishing this research to you? Bring your kids to church for better grades? No, please don’t. If that’s your motivation than you might better stay at home. Bring your kids to church for God, not for grades. However, better grades are a by-product of a kids’ experience with Christ’s body, the church. This is one more example of the glorious Christmas promise of God’s favor in the angel’s song on that first starry night:
Glory to God in the highest…and on earth peace among those whom he favors!
This Christmas season let us begin anew to come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
Peace and joy,
Pastor Todd Buurstra