The church influences Ponyboy by keeping him and johnny safe from people finding them. On page 81 when Ponyboy reads the note from soda, soda tells him "he keeps his trap shut and won't tell me nothing. Darry hasn't got the slightest notion and it is nearly killing him." Soda saying this shows how no one actually knows and won't know where they have been unless Dally says something. Knowing this they could
Ponyboy's older brother Sodapop has a big effect on Ponyboy. Soda cares deeply for his younger brother and was worried about how he was doing while he was in the church (page 81-82). Ponyboy admires his brother's looks and personality as well (page 2). But most importantly Ponyboy makes his brother a slight role motel for him. He mentions time to time again that his brother can make anyone smile and that he wishes he could too.
Ponyboy's older brother Darry also has a huge effect on him. Darry acts like the adult of the house and tries to keep everything in order. Darry also gets mad at ponyboy a lot and even slapped him for being late. Ponyboy getting hit made him run away and Johnny kill someone. Darry may sound mean and bad to pony but really Darry is just trying to protect and taking care of him.