Thanks so much for your comment and readership, man. I appreciate it!
In some ways what we are talking about is a chicken or the egg problem. Did the community fail and that’s why people don’t come, or did people stop coming and the community weakened as a result?
Every church is different and so there isn’t just one correct answer to the above question. And sometimes the answer might be that both happened at once.
As to worshiping anywhere I think it’s a mistake to confuse personal, private worship with gatherings — whether at a “church building” or some other location. I can worship God anywhere, yes. It is even true that a small group of believers can worship God anywhere. But community requires some kind of regularity, commitment, even inconvenience.
To use the old analogy of leading a horse to water…a lot of people are wandering around thirsty for community. Pastors and church leaders are standing by a lake full of community, but not only can they not get the horse to drink, they can’t even lead the horse to the water.
We’ve got to find a way to connect people despite their unwillingness to attend consistently. It’s not easy or we’d already have cracked it.