What do you look for in a church? As my wife and I have explored options since we moved, I had an interesting conversation with a pastor, in which he noted that we have the desire to connect, and he asked for clarification if this was to connect with God, other people, or what.
I hadn't thought of it in terms like this, but I realized I do not feel like I really need church to connect with God, per se. I feel like I connect with God very well on my own and with my wife. I do not need a church to do that. This particularly true with contemplative techniques. For me, they feel more effective in solitude or with a small group than with a large group.
In contrast, church seems, for me, to be an opportunity to connect with other believers and experience God incarnationally. Now, this is therefore a way of connecting with God, but it is a slight difference from directly connecting with God.
The relationships among the Church body are important. They give us life and help us remember our priorities.
Church organizations are not necessarily needed to connect with God, I don't believe. That is not to say church and Church (the former being the organization and the latter being all believers) is not important. To the contrary: It is quite important, but not necessarily for the reasons we often are told about church.
This is definitely a distinctly Protestant view, of course. What do you think?