"Hello pastor!" A younger man greeted me the other day after a funeral. This man was a member of our church, but due to a lack of attendance over three years, has been removed from our roles and also has moved to another area. I replied, "Great to see you again. How is your new area? Found a fellowship of believers yet?" He said, "No, we are still Lutheran, but we don't need the church. I pray when I go out fishing and that is all I need. I went to teach my son as a child about church, but we don't need it anymore."
My response? Shock. If someone's heart is that hardened, what do you say? If they have NO desire to receive God's gifts in worship, what do you do? God has gifts to give that go well beyond the gift of prayer. Try the Word, try the Sacrament, try a supportive fellowshp of believers, and try maybe being a supportive person to those in the faith! Any ideas of a good one line response to such talk? I am very frustrated by that mentality!