Whenever I tell Christians that we need to go to church, they make all sorts of excuses for not doing so. Some of them are quite reasonable-sounding: They’ve been to fruitless churches, full of fruitless Christians, and they’ve had some profoundly horrible experiences. Or they went to churches that were basically cults,* where the pastor gave them a bunch of rules, and woe to anyone who broke one. In any case, a bad taste was left in their mouths, so they’re not going.
In some cases, they’ve come up with a rather clever bit of bible interpretation: “Jesus said, ‘When two or three or gathered in my name, I am there in their midst,’ (Mt 18.20) and that’s the basic definition of church, right? So I hang out with my Christian friends, and we have ‘church’ together. That counts.”