It's really a popularity contest these days. If my kids play ball with their kids, if we can have fun together, if I'm cool, friendly, and relate well, then maybe if they're not too busy, they'll come to my church.
When I move away they can quit, because the new minister just won't be the same, and besides, they have better things to do anyway.
The new guy or gal can't get them to come back. He has to go after new people, start a relationship with them, cajole them into coming to his church, and build up his personal numbers until he leaves. Then they leave and the whole process starts again.
These are the fringe people who come and go. Don't ask too much of them. No commitments, please. O, and what will you do for my children?
It's a joke.
They're a joke.
They make church a joke.
Many of them may have grown up in church. They went to Sunday school and youth, got baptized, and made their commitments. Presumably, they dedicated their lives to the work of Jesus.
But none of the other people in the church matter to them. Christ doesn't matter. Right and wrong don't matter. A desperate world doesn't matter. Only how they feel. If the preacher can make them feel good, if he's fun enough, maybe they'll show up for worship.
I don't compete in the popularity contest anymore. It makes me lonely.
Like me or don't like me, it doesn't much matter. You don't know me anyway. You don't care about me or my family. You only care about whether what I do is good enough to suit you.
Let me make this simple. I'm not good enough. Go on about your business or play.
However, if you can fit doing God's work into your schedule, drop by and we'll visit. If you're troubled, let me know, and I'll be happy to come help you.
If you want to be my friend you can have my undying devotion.