I want to share the few experiences I had with churches in my area. although I was never a member I did attend some services. Once I became born again I felt the need for our family to start attending church. We went to a little Baptist church just down the road for a few months and although everyone was very nice and inviting it seemed very robotic and always had one member in the front row who snored his way through most the service. Not one Holy Spirit convicting sermon did I hear.
On Christmas Eve we wanted to go to the evening service. It snowed that night and we had about 3 inches of snow on the ground but we made our way down the road only to find out they cancelled service. So we went next door to the little Methodist church instead.
It was the saddest thing I've ever witnessed. I didn't know whether to cry or scream in anger! The congregation sang every song with zombie emotion and the pastor was so obese he could hardly walk from one candle lighting to another without gasping for breath. Now some may say I'm mean to judge a man on his weight but I disagree. Obesity is food addiction, just as alcoholism and drug addiction. A pastor is supposed to set an example for His congregation and a 400+ pound man preaching is no different than a drunk pill popping pastor. Self control?
When it was time for communion my family and I walked up first and obviously didn't know the routine because after we got the bread and drank the juice we turned to walk back to our pew only to get angry stares and whispers. When we sat down we quickly learned we were supposed to walk around the long way back to our pew.
Not one person came up to greet us. The church as adorned with christmas trees and decorations and the whole thing was like a sterile surgical procedure instead of love and adoration for our Jesus.
We visited a mega church the next town over once which was also very sad to witness. They were selling "read the Bible in a year" bibles and CD's. People were walking in late for service during the first 20 minutes, while whispering and laughing as they waked to their seats. All I could think was if Jesus was standing at that pulpit would they still be so lewd?
The sermon was about the genealogy of Jesus and seemed to go on for 4 hours. Nothing convicting whatsoever just a lot of laughing joking and self exalting behavior. We never returned.
I visited some other churches on my own without the kids and husband only to feel I was back in high school again. A lot of whispers and glares while not one welcome or hello was said to me.
I'm in no way trying to harass or smear anyones church or reputation only sharing my experience as a testimony of how dead a lot of church houses are today. Jesus did not come to built religion or buildings. His true church are His followers and God can not be contained in a building. Fellowship is important but to say it must involve organized religion is a farce. Jesus is alive on earth today through those who have given themselves as a living sacrifice to do the Father's will. Religion has always caused hate, death, separation, hypocrites, and pride. All things Jesus hates.