World magazine recently highlighted the impressive impact of the community outreach of one urban congregation in Manhattan. This inspiring story is just one example of the uniquely powerful effectiveness of indigenous faith-based service in neighborhoods burdened by enormous financial and societal problems. At a time of cutbacks in government services, the faith community remains as a longstanding bulwark of support and outreach to those who are in need.
As research throughout the last decade has shown, religious practice has been linked to a greater likelihood of charitable outreach. Church attendance is associated with an increased likelihood of volunteering—both through organized programs and informal acts of compassion. In fact, this association holds true even on the macro-level: National-levels of church attendance are linked to an increased likelihood of volunteerism among citizens.