Taking Kids to Church Matters More Than the ‘Right’ School. 

In a recent article dated January 25, 2022, Public health expert Tyler Vander Weele and his team at Harvard examined more than a decade's worth of data tracking the development of 12,000 children.

The study focused on how four school categories - public, private, religious, and homeschool - might affect the long-term well-being of adolescents.

Here are some of their findings:

  • There was little difference between the long-term well-being of adolescents who attended public school and those who attended private school when it comes to key health indicators.

  • Between those who were sent to public school and those who attended schools with faith affiliations, there was only a marginal difference – 10 - 15%. On the one hand, those who went to religious schools were marginal; "more likely to register to vote, less likely to be obese, and more likely to have fewer lifetime partners by the time they had become young adults." On the other hand, those in religious schools were "slightly more likely to engage in binge drinking." Children who went to faith-based schools also were "only slightly more likely to attend religious services as young adults than those who went to either secular private or public schools."


  • There was a significant difference between those who attended public school and those who were homeschooled. Vander Weele said that homeschooled kids "were more likely to volunteer, forgive others, possess a sense of mission and purpose, and have fewer lifetime sexual partners." Homeschoolers were also "51 percent more likely to frequently attend religious services into their young adulthood."

Here is the clincher when it comes to impacting your children's faith as young adults:

  • Church attendance during adolescence was highly shaping in terms of health and well-being and far more influential than attending a faith-based school. "We found that religious service attendance makes a bigger difference than religious schooling," Vander Weele said. "Religious service attendance has beneficial effects across the different school types and has stronger effects than religious schooling.”

  • "The environment that a child is exposed to does cause changes in their adult religious behaviors, the results [of this study] are consistent with that."

You can read the whole article HERE.

I would conclude that one of the great influencers for our children's spiritual life is attending church regularly. As you partner with the church, you help your children develop the value of being part of a local church as a vehicle to a growing faith.
See you on Sunday!

Gino Grunberg

*Also, as a community of Jesus followers, we will be serving Communion as we conclude our series “Five Wise Choices”, this Sunday, at 9:00 and 10:30 am.