On Saturday night I posted this: Discover your future. Understand the present. Go to church tomorrow! It's amazing how much response it got. I am one who believes that Sunday is the greatest day of the week. I set my calendar around it (not vice-versa). The church was set up by Jesus Christ and it's His plan to reach the world with the Gospel. The church is an amazing creation. It is both organism and organization; a living thing comprised of a certain order, regular worship services, with doctrinal standards, institutional norms, and defined rituals. Without the institution of the church nurturing the flock and protecting the faith for two thousand years, there would be no Christianity.
I love the church because Christ loved the church. She is his bride--being washed clean by the word of God (Ephesians -26). If you are into Jesus, don't talk bad about His bride. Jesus died for the church, so be ready to do a little dying to self for the church's sake. If you keep in mind that everyone there is a sinner (including yourself) and that Jesus Christ is the point and not you, your dreams, or your kids, your church experience might not be as lame as you fear.
Perhaps Christians are leaving the church because it isn't tolerant and open-minded. But perhaps the church-leavers have their own intolerance too--intolerant of tradition, intolerant of authority, intolerant of imperfection except their own. Are you open-minded enough to give the church a chance--a chance for the church to be the church, not a coffee shop, not a mall, not a variety show, not a social club, not a rock concert, not a nature walk, but a wonderfully ordinary, blood-bought, Spirit-driven church with pastors, sermons, budgets, problems to solve, and a world to reach?
The Church, because it is Christ's church, will outlive American Idol, the NFL, and all of our grandkids. We won't last, but the Church will. So when it comes to church, be like Jesus: love it, don't leave it. Discover God's plan and purpose for your life now and for all eternity - a worthy investment. Amen?