Once upon a time (aka last Monday), I was sitting in a meeting, and the leader was talking he had heard about one family, more specifically the children of the family, who were not able to leave the church because of the love and faith they had found there. He said there was no way they could not be a part of it because of the way the church family had adored them and nurtured them as they grew up. I think these were pastor's kids, which is an even bigger accomplishment.
It was a thought provoking thing to hear, especially in light of what we had been taught the day before. S., during the service, had told us that the church should be the HOPE of the WORLD. That when people are asked what they think will be a source of help and hope, they should be able to say the Church of Jesus Christ, but that even Christians don't believe that. He talked about how the church was the only institution that Jesus founded, and that Jesus asked his disciples to love each other and take care of each other. And quite simply, that we as Christians, need to love the church. It's hard; I think often we don't think about loving the church. But don't we want it to be a place that people have a hard time leaving because of the love they've found there? Don't we want it to be the hope of the world? Don't we want it to be the place and the people that Jesus meant for it to be? What would it take to get us to commit to that?