My husband and I travel quite a bit. When we were still JWs, we tried to attend a congregation or two if we stopped at a convenient day and time. We used to see:
1) If we would be greeted
2) How long it was until someone greeted us
3) How high on the food chain the greeter was (PO..........child)
4) How long they talked to us after they found out we were already JWs
5) If any hospitality was offered
We used to keep a log; I got it out recently when I was cleaning my closets. It was sad. One congregation we visited several times:
First time: No one talked to us
Second time: A developmentally disabled boy chatted with us
Third time: A skittish older sister talked to us but disappeared when she found out we were already JWs
Fourth time: A single mother and her daughter had a nice chat with us.
Fifth time: I finally walked up to an elder (recognized him from the DC where he had given a talk) and introduced ourselves. He was reluctant to talk to us since he did not know us. I raised my hand (WT Study) and the conductor called on me. I answered. Then afterwards people talked to us (I give good comments). I had raised my hand the other times but they were not sure of my "status."
I did find out through the grapevine that this congregation was well-known for being unfriendly.
Out of my list there was only one congregation where two elders quickly ran up to us and introduced themselves. Did not run away when they found out we were already JWs. Invited us to meet others and took us out for dinner after the meeting. I think they would have put us up at their homes for the next month if we needed it.
Love is lacking in congregations. I know there are many excuses that JWs and even ex-JWs have given me. In the end, love is the mark of a true Christian, not meeting attendance, not placing WTS literature, not giving public talks, not conducting the WT study or book study. Love is being glad to see them, being sad when they are missing and checking to see how they are, helping them move, taking them to the doctor, giving them food when they get laid off and a new job is not on the offing, etc.
How many people on this board might have stayed if real love had been shown them?