I need to explore a theory with you, with others, and independently: that people should be called to seek the ultimate truth, to know God, to follow Jesus [or insert your spiritual belief here], but NOT to be spiritual leaders of others. I am coming to believe that only the individual, along with the guidance of and attraction to the spiritual entity and ultimate truth they seek, can be their own spiritual leader, and not another person. That rules out churches and preachers and imams and all of that bureaucracy! If you desire fellowship and camaraderie with other seekers who are further or not as far along the developmental continuum as you are, that's fine. Do it if it works for you - but don't put the development of or passion for your faith in the hands of another human being. This theory, developed over the past few months, calls to mind all of the times over the years that I've heard various friends and family members talk of switching congregations or even denominations because "something's missing". To me, it's not about the church or the pastor or the ritual, it's about your own spirit and soul and its connection with God. If something's missing, don't go looking for it from other people or buildings or organizations: look for it first from God and then, or actually simultaneously, within yourself. That's where it is. Individuals can be motivational or inspiring (or quite the opposite in many cases!), but that's a cult of personality, not God. If you seek Him, you will find Him when you are ready, and not before, and not by getting jazzed by words from someone who's a gifted public speaker who would be just as effective at getting people fired up about a big ballgame or a political rally. If you're really where you want to be spiritually, you should be able to be just as connected and fired up about God all by yourself in a remote forest as you are when listening to Pastor Pump Us Up in an amazing facility packed in with 3000 other people singing and dancing and yelling. Same thing with churches that are kid-friendly: I welcome messages and activities that make the life and teachings of Jesus more understandable to kids, but that doesn't mean I need to "be" a Baptist or Methodist or Catholic or whatever. It means people have different levels and capacities of understanding, including children, and little children can't be expected to understand or pay attention to materials drawn up for adults, and if I find a way to make the message more understandable to them, I'll try it. I see how you may point out that this logic could also apply to adults: why not go to a place that facilitates my understanding of the message? Again, I have no problem with seeking clarification or better understanding from those who have a solid grasp of the message as it applies to them, and their being able to assist you in its application to your personal existence. Just don't come to depend on them or lean on them in place of your own spiritual and mental efforts and development, which is what tends to happen when you stay in one place for too long - and this goes for any of life's endeavors, be them spiritual, professional, intellectual, you name it.