Many years ago, while attending church, I found that while listening to the preacher, my mind was filled with negative thoughts, criticism, and disappointments because of what I knew and had experienced in that church. Even though I sincerely believe that the Spirit of God can use any vessel to proclaim God's Word, I have had numerous occasions where the vessel was getting in the way of hearing what the Spirit was proclaiming. I found myself in sin. My focus wasn't on God but on a person's transgressions, what I knew, and my experiences in that church.
At the end of those services, I had to repent for having a critical spirit, even if it was justifiable. I had to repent for the idolatry of having my eyes on the transgressions and on the unhealthy areas of that church rather than on God during worship.
Sometimes I dreaded attending church, but I didn't want to leave my church. So, I had to approach my Sunday mornings differently. In my prayer time, I discovered that God had allowed me to know the unhealthy areas in the church, but He didn't allow me to know them to be critical; He needed someone to stand in the gap. I could pray specifically about what I had experienced and knew. So I began to intercede on behalf of my church on Sunday mornings. I was no longer distracted by thoughts of criticism; I was asking God to intervene, which He did in so many ways!
If you are in a church where you are discouraged and frustrated by what you know or have experienced but are not ready to leave your church, I encourage you to be a watchman or watchwoman on the wall. God's house is a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13), be the intercessor and watch God change you and that church. He is able!
So, the next time you go to church, show up as one who is on an assignment, let your act of worship be to intercede on behalf of the sheep.
Ask God to protect the sheep from the wolves that are lurking, to lead the sheep to streams of living water, to restore their souls, including yours, and watch God change things.