Strengthening connections to church
Why the world needs church and church needs you
A resource guide for youth
What does church mean for you? For the world? How—and why—should you get involved? This guide can help you begin thinking about your relationship with church and exploring what church can do for you and for the world.
Thoughts & Questions
Young people shared their thoughts and questions. You can, too.
What is the purpose of church?
How can I connect with people at church when they seem so different from me?
How can church help me?
I’ve never been to church before.
I have questions. Who can I ask or talk to?
How can I participate?
What if I’m the only young person at church?
After getting to talk and share in Sunday School, am I just supposed to sit and listen every Sunday?
Why does the world need church? And why does church need us?
We all yearn to be understood, to feel supported and valued.
At its highest, church is a community of people striving to see each other as they spiritually are.
But that doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes the active participation of every individual to achieve this by truly valuing each others’ experiences and perspectives. There are so many challenges in the world. Church gives us an opportunity to address them together through prayer and inspired action. And it's a powerful avenue for others to feel the impact of God’s presence in their lives too.
If the vision of what church can be speaks to you, the rest of this guide can help you think more about your role in the higher purpose of church.
Interested in digging deeper? Here are some stories from the Bible and passages from Mary Baker Eddy's writings that help explain what church is all about.
How church provides opportunities to support each other.
Acts 12:1–17 — Peter was thrown into prison and church members gathered to pray for his release. They are full of joy when he’s freed by an angel.
Acts 14:19–23 — An angry crowd stoned Paul and left him for dead. His fellow Christians gathered around him and prayed for him. He was healed. Paul went on to continue his ministry, and even returned to the city where he had been attacked.
Church Manual, p. 42:1 — Mary Baker Eddy’s invitation to pray for each other—and congregations around the world—in church.
How church provides opportunities to support people searching for truth.
Acts 9 — God asked Ananias to heal Saul after Saul encountered Christ and was temporarily blinded. Ananias was initially fearful because of Saul’s persecution of Christians, but God reassured him, and Ananias did what God had asked. Saul's character was changed (he was later known as Paul) and he went on to start and nurture churches during his extensive travels.
Science and Health, p. 570:14–18 — “Millions of unprejudiced minds — simple seekers for Truth, weary wanderers, athirst in the desert — are waiting and watching for rest and drink. Give them a cup of cold water in Christ’s name, and never fear the consequences.”
How can we feel more fearless about sharing Christian Science with anyone in our life who might be looking for spiritual solutions to their problems?
How church provides opportunities to work together and feel supported. (We don't have to do this alone!)
Nehemiah 2–6 — Jerusalem was in ruins and Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the city’s walls, but he couldn’t do it alone. He and others gathered together to build and also to defend their work against those who tried to discourage them.
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 135 — “Our watchwords are Truth and Love; and if we abide in these, they will abound in us, and we shall be one in heart, — one in motive, purpose, pursuit.”
What other stories or passages come to mind when you think about church? How are they inspiring you?
How can church support my progress?
How can I give back?
Each person brings something valuable and important to support each other. Here are some ideas:
Reaching out — Allowing people to get to know you is opening the door to church and its purpose. Getting to know others does this, too.
The power of giving — Maybe you need a ride to church or you don’t have family nearby. Someone at church might offer a ride or invite you to dinner. How would this feel? Giving back can have a similar benefit. Here are ideas from other teens and 20-somethings:
Welcome people to church as an usher.
Improve the website or social media presence or be a tech host.
Contribute creatively with music or Reading Room window displays.
Become a member and ask about serving on committees.
Sharing ideas — Hearing insightful ideas and experiences can inspire you, and sharing your experiences and ideas can inspire others.
Asking questions — Another’s question can move your thought in a new direction. Your questions can help churches move forward, too.
Prayerful support — Your church is there to support you. And praying for your church, community, and other people is also very helpful.
See how other young people are getting involved.
Want to share how you are getting involved?
How do I keep learning and growing in my practice of Christian Science?
The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy — We can turn to them at any point for guidance, inspiration, and healing.
Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons — This daily, Bible-based curriculum for life can jump-start our prayers and give us ideas to approach problems from a spiritual basis.
Articles/Testimonies/Podcasts — JSH-Online has articles, testimonies, and podcasts written by and for teens and young adults. Student subscriptions are available and TeenConnect is free. You can share your own inspiration and experiences.
Christian Science Organizations (CSOs) — These student-led clubs at colleges and universities are places to explore spiritual solutions to life and world issues.
Christian Science Practitioners — It might seem intimidating to call someone and ask for help. But practitioners devote their lives to praying for others—no matter what kind of problem you’re facing—and they’re happy to help. Find a practitioner.
Christian Science Nurses — If you need skilled practical care while you’re relying on prayer for healing, or just want to ask a question, you can find a Christian Science nurse.
Primary Class Instruction — A two week class taught by an experienced Christian Science practitioner and teacher, strengthening your understanding of God and your practice of Christian Science healing.
Christian Science Associations — Those who have taken Primary class with a teacher, gather yearly with fellow students to grow in their understanding of Christian Science.