I was having dinner with a friend the other day and she mentioned that she's at a time where she's just going to church and disappearing after that. My reaction was: what's the point in that?
It's not as if I haven't been there before. Sometimes you just appear in church for the sake of going to church, because it's what you do as a Christian. Muslims go to the mosque, Hindus and Buddhists (well some variants) go to the temple, so you toddle off to the church like a good religious person.
The point of church isn't just church. If all you want a good singing session or great sermons, you can get those on the internet for free, probably better than any you can find in a local church. The point of church (and here I circle back again) is growing to be more like Jesus as a community. That's why you get involved in ministry. That's why you join a cell (or care or small) group. That's why it's called a body: because you need all the different parts and different types of people to come together to make things work. A body is not going to function if all of its members just show up for two hours once a week. That would be... a zombie. *braiiiinnnsss*
Her defence was that she didn't feel welcomed, that it was hard to fit in. She couldn't really find people with which she could click "so easily, like all the other groups she hangs out with." Been there, done that. Sometimes you suck it up, and self-insert until you feel comfortable with it. *waves at random people in San Jose. Or not*
It would be nice if everyone in the church were nice, accepting, accommodating people who bend over backwards to make you feel happy and comfortable and a part of them. It would be awesome if everyone in the church thought the same way, or had the same culture, or were in agreement so that everyone would be happy and clappy and awesome.
But the church isn't perfect. People aren't perfect. And that's what the church is - people. There will always be people in the church you can't see eye-to-eye with. There will always be things that are done that make you just so hopping mad you want to bash something. There will always be situations where you critically say, 'that's not Christ-like'. That doesn't mean you should up and leave every time it happens.
Because you know what? That's what your next church will be like again.