Why don't people go to church? I don't mean people who used to go and now have stopped; that's another topic. I mean those who are supposedly "searching." When I see people around me begin to believe, they often display an aversion towards attending any sort of organized meeting.
Problems in individual congregations are many. But there's a larger issue at stake. Sometimes it seems that the desire to be a part of a worshiping body seems to evade seekers or new believers. And it's not a cultural thing; I have seen it in many places.
What's the problem? Is it the churches themselves? Is it their reputation? Is it the way we witness? I rarely invite anyone to church on Sundays anymore. But I talk about my church all the time. People get interested and start asking when they can visit. But they never come. Some are interested in Bible study and different Christian topics. Bible study is okay, but a church service isn't. Holidays are okay, but regular services aren't. Why?
If God is truly calling a person to himself but the person is nervous about attending a Christian service, can't God drive away that fear? Can't God work despite the imperfections of a church service and reveal Himself irregardless? Is the hesitation an indication of the person's degree of interest?
But most people never even get as far as the church doors. Why is it so difficult?
Recently a "seeker" friend asked to come to church and we had even agreed on a time and place to meet. But then as usual, there was an excuse. Why? I wasn't even forcing her, she had expressed the interest on her own.
The phrase "bring the Church to them" rang in my head. Yet is it an answer? Are "outreach" events the same experience as regular meetings? By simply attending events where Christians gather, will a new believer be able to take root and become a part of the Body? Or will he continue to wander?