Researcher Tyler J. VanderWeele writes for Psychology Today on the topic of Human Flourishing and is a Professor at Harvard University.

In a recent study, he found what we already know to be true at FBO/TFA – attending church is good for kids and their families. Children who attend religious services regularly are 29 percent more likely to serve in their community. These same kids are 87 percent more likely to be forgiving. Young people who pray regularly are nearly 50 percent more likely to have a high sense of mission and purpose in life.

His study also found that children raised in religious homes were more likely to be protected from depression, drug use, and risky behaviors. Unsurprisingly, they were generally happier about life.

After offering a few cautions about organized religion and church scandals, the author concluded, “Our research indicates that, on average, the effects of a religious community are profoundly positive. Ceasing those practices could, on average, likely lead to worse health and well-being outcomes. It would, on average at least, lead to more harm than good.”

We have designated this coming weekend as “Invite a Friend to Church Sunday” – November 10 is the day! Whether you attend FBO or elsewhere, let’s invite students to attend with us at our places of worship. Let’s also encourage students to invite their unchurched friends to attend with them. This simple act of inviting someone to church can make an eternal difference.

Thank you for the opportunity to be on this ministry journey alongside each one of you!


Steve D. Whitaker, Ph.D.
Head of School