There are a few good conversations that are going on right now and they are driving me to this thought:
Really- why do we stay? Do you wake up on Sunday morning and realize, begrudgingly, that it's church time and you have to go again, even though you don't really want to? (But you have to because they hired you as the pastor and it's your job, hahaha.) Do you sip some coffee and deliberate whether you should go or not, but then quote Hebrews 10:25 to yourself, just like you do to anyone who says they may leave the church, and get dressed?
I'm concerned that our love of Christ (why we stay with Christ) is not necessarily indicative of our staying in a church or the Church. There seem to be many reasons people stay, probably as many reasons as there are people, and even that should probably concern us on some level. It is indicative of the lack of unity that tends to be common in the Church. Not homogeneous, industrial revolution style assembly line exactness- I mean unity- that thing that happens when the Spirit is the most important identifier in the Church.
If we struggle to identify a reason for our staying that is also the driving hope and heart of many around us then what is there for the new believer, the young people, or the men in the church? (To touch on a few other posts and whatnot.) What exactly are they supposedly being welcomed to join at a church? A choose-your-own-adventure smorgasbord of potential reasons so we hope one sticks? A promise of wealth and wisdom if they get locked in and have real faith? A work to be done and a quick volunteering of their skills so they feel obligated before they can decide if they want to stay or not?
I'm starting to wonder how many churches and church goers have much of any theological basis for what they do and why they do it when it comes to church attendance. And if we're relying on other reasons- God help us.