I have been active in one church or another just about my entire adult life. And sometimes the experience has been meaningful and rewarding, and other times it has been more of a drag. While I could wish that it was all sunshine and roses, the reality of it, at least for me, has been different than that.
The tendency for me, when church starts to become a drag, is to try and figure out who or what is causing the problem for me. Surely, if the worship, Bible study and fellowship are falling flat then someone is to blame. And if that person(s) would just get their act together then all would be well again.
And the reality is that someone generally is to blame for it. Unfortunately all to often that person is me. If my own time alone with God is not vibrant, then why should I expect my experience with corporate worship to be any different? If I am not excited about spending time in the word, then why should I expect that the sermon or teaching will be meaningful? If I am not seeking and following God’s direction in my life, then why should I expect God to be providing any direction from what I hear at church?
There may well be other problems in the church besides me; after all the church is made up of people like myself. But so long as I blame others for my struggle with church, and ignore my own responsibilities, then it is not likely that it will get any better for me; even if every other problem were to vanish.
On the other hand, if I take care of what I have some control over, and that is myself, then I might find the corporate experience more rewarding. And might just possibly inspire someone else who is going through the same struggle. And if that happened to enough of us, can you imagine what that might mean in the church?