As previously mentioned, church attendance is down. Down compared to what I don't know. But those that go regularly always complain more people should be attending.
This raises several issues for me:
1. Church then gets equated with OBLIGATION. You are NOT obligated to connect to God or fellow man. Anyone who HAS genuinely connected in this way wants to instinctually form the SOUL after to continue it. It is deep, profound, and prolific.
2. IF going to church was creating a Deep, Profound, Meaningful connection to God and Others each time you went, why would people stop going? In other words, Maybe sitting for over an hour listening to someone talk about God is NOT the same as connecting to God as an individual or talking to the people around you to connect to God in THEM.
3. The purpose of "churches" have become convoluted as time has gone on by ANYONE'S standards compared to its original intent.What was the "original nature" of the "church" supposed to be?
Well a bunch of people putting themselves in leadership positions of power to lord over others and condemn them for a bunch of laws and rules has never really worked out so well. Maybe the original intent was to have a GROUP of PEOPLE (regardless of religious affiliation, age, gender, race... come TOGETHER in PEACE to share joys, support through pains, and give Faith and Love to GOD. Just throwing that theory out there...
From personal experience, I got to church to get several things I am guaranteed to get form the church I attend when I do feel inspired to go:
1. ENERGY from the people there that is positive and resounding
2. Inspiration from the Divinely-Inspired Words coming from whoever is speaking
3. Clarity about God's Message to Humanity
4. UNITY and a feeling of BELONGING
No 1 person really gives this though. Even the speaker might not be that great each time. But these INTANGIBLE, SPIRITUAL things are what I seek most when I do attend.