A friend of mine responded to this question. ‘If someone you knew was going to leave their church or faith, what would you say to them?’ His response may hold some of the ‘truth’ of why some leave the church, in search of it.
“Go ahead and go. If you want to go, then you’ll be miserable staying and of no help to anyone, and there’s no room on this bus for people who refuse to pull their weight. Think I’m being harsh? Sometimes the best thing a person who is sick and tired of church and/or church life is see what it’s like on “the other side”. When you go, listen to the people you meet – really listen. Don’t just look at their outsides, or their lifestyles or choices – get to know them and ask them questions. Think about what you yourself are experiencing. Ask yourself if what you find was what you expected.
Get church all out of your system. But then once you do, if you miss Him, look for Jesus – because where you’re going is where He already is. He doesn’t inhabit the comfortable, cushy pews or the gossipy conversations in the lobby or the fake smiles. He’s in the wild places, the places where there are desperate people doing desperate things at a desperate pace, trying desperately to find peace.
Take a good look at those people, because you will have the choice to be one of them, in short order. And if you decide that you DO want to be with him, then remember this, too. There are all kinds of people who follow Him in all kinds of different ways – their only connection is the goal of loving Him and others. And if you ask Him, He will help you find a community of people who will be the best friends you have ever had, on the craziest sort of adventures.
But you probably don’t believe me yet, so maybe you should go ahead and go, and try to forget what I’ve told you.”