I just recently finished a book that again reinforced my feeling about the local church. It said what I've been thinking for a long time. Your church is not a country club. It's not a buffet that you come to and expect to just be fed at. It's a family, the body of Christ that you must be active in.
We have an epidemic in this country of people cutting off their body parts and trying to find new ones that “fit” better. Once we feel that we're not being fed at a church or the church has stopped being the perfect reflection of Christ we pick up and move on. We go on that epic search for the next great church “country club.” Every community has the “popular” church that every is migrating towards because they have the cool pastor or the great programs.
Is that really what God wants from us? Are we strenghtening the global Church by abandoning our local church? Are we showing unbelievers the love and forgiveness of Christ by leaving our local church because it's not doing what we want?
God only leaves our local church when we leave it. We are the body of Christ. We each have a part to play and by leaving our churches we're robbing them of our skills. We stop being the hands and feet of and start being spectators. The Church is a flawed body because it's made of sinful humans but we must do our part to help it, to forgive it and to support it.
I've been at my local church for most of my life. I am intimately aware of its flaws. They are frequent topics of conversation in my house. Frankly, some of the flaws drive me NUTS! There are times that I know life would be easier if I found another church. The thing is, Christ has never abandoned me so who am I to abandon his church!
I'm working on the inside to help make my church more Christlike. Will it ever get to where God wants it? Nope, because we're not perfect. But I've said to people before, they'll have to excommunicate me before I leave my church. It's where God is and I need to stay and help do his work there.
If God hasn't left my church, why should I?