What a couple of questions. While I can’t answer this for you, I can answer this from my point of view, and hopefully start your thinking.
I started going to church because I thought it was where I would find Jesus and grow closer to Him. I did grow in the beginning, but not because of anything the church did, but because the Holy Spirit was changing me on the inside. I was longing to be like Christ. I was pouring every free minute into listening, praying and reading the bible. My most fervent prayer was, “Change me.” I became the church treasurer even though I had no experience with handling money and was not good at keeping track of my own. I did this because I wanted God to use me and equip me to serve (he didn’t in that area). I worked as an assistant youth leader (fail again) and even went back to college to get a degree in religion, so I could become a pastor (graduated in 2007 from Liberty University).
During this five year span I got hooked on leadership material, self-improvement books, and personal growth strategies. I knew I was the most well equipped 35 year-old to ever pastor a church. I was wrong. I lasted four months at a church of 26 people that I took on as a turn around project/church replant. Within the first month I was cussed, yelled at and told how bad each and every person either hated others, or hated themselves. I got calls and visits just to talk about how people should be kicked out of the church. I gave the pastors desk to a needy family and moved my own desk into the office, and I took down two unsightly concrete markers at the front entrance. Bad move. I had done something without running it through the proper committee and cousin Earl almost drove his truck into the ditch because the markers were moved, so he couldn’t see the driveway. Let me back up. Yes, I said proper committee. 26 people in the church and everyone had a committee and most had four or five. The property committee should have been notified of both, the desk and the markers. They would then approve or disapprove the measure and send it to the church council. Because, according to the by-laws, the pastor can make no property improvements without prior permission from the council.
We moved back to our home church and began to get involved in different ministries. We filled our time with so much church we lost track of God. We wanted to seem like great Christians, so we did what we thought great Christians should do. We participated, we attended, and we did have regular bible study. We kept up and appeared to be doing great, but we had lost our first love and were really only luke warm at best.
We stayed in church because we thought that is where we would find God. We left organized church because we realized God was where ever two or more are gathered and seeking him. When organized church becomes about doing stuff, and getting others to do stuff, it misses the point that God is not in the stuff. If Everything you do is to attract people, pay salaries, and keep the lights on, you may be missing the point.
We really stayed because we thought we were needed, and that is where our friends were. We found out not that many were our friends because they refused to acknowledge us after we left. We had ruined their church and we were wrong.
Don’t misunderstand me, there are people in most churches who love God and want to help others know him. They are probably not on committees and they may not be there all the time, but they are there. They disciple people through love, and care for needs without being seen. You can be one of these people. We tried, but in our church we had lead for so long we were not as welcome after we stopped leading like CEO’s. Everyone’s experience will be different, and I don’t want you to just up and leave because you are mad. Listen to God’s leading and move with him.