Most of us, in elementary or Jr. High school learned about the metamorphosis process of a Butterfly. How the butterfly starts out as an egg, then goes from larva, then pupa, and eventually to a butterfly. It is a neat process. Metamorphosis comes from the greek word meaning "transforming".
I think as people or "christians" we go through sort of a metamorphosis of our own. We all start out "lost". Sometimes you might here words to describe us as, non-christian, un-churched, un-saved, or even "sinner".
Secondly, at some point people decide to seek out God, try out church, or think there is more to life than what they have seen or done so far, so people move from being "lost" to more of a seeking, or discovering stage. This is where they attend church, ask questions, and maybe do some research, study, or ask people they know who go to church questions.
Thirdly, After this process, we decide to make a decision. Unfortuantely, some people decide to stop going to church or think being a Christian or God is not for them, so they give up or walk away. However, many decide they believe and want to give their lives to Christ, so many move to become "christians" by asking God into their lives, seeking forgiveness, and confessing Jesus to be Lord, and accepting God and getting baptized and becoming a christian. This is a good thing. It is an exciting time, and hopefully, it is life changing. Sometimes for people like me, this process is a little different, because I was raised in church, I hardly know a life without going to church, so when i got old enough to understand(age 12) I gave my life to Christ. At this point in the process, people's journey's may be different, but the steps are the same, or should be the same. It's still part of the process whether you were raised in church or not.
Fourthly, the next step in the process is really the part of growing and maturing in your personal relationship with God. This takes many forms. Learning to pray(talk to God) daily, reading and studying the Bible, placing membership in a local church, getting involved and volunteering and serving in the local church, hopefully discovering what your talents are and using them for God, and just growing and maturing in your knowledge, understanding, and faith in God. This process will take a life time.
Fifthly, the final process should be Heaven or eternity. Living a faithful life to God until we die or He comes back again. Right now God has not returned, but He will, so we prepare to meet Him, whether through our physical death or the hope that He will come back in our life time.
The thing is, a lot of people don't make it through the transformation from lost to heaven. They may become a christian, but many choose to not grow, mature, or develop or deepen their faith. They think believing in God is enough or attending church is enough,
but believing or attending church doesn't produce the life-changing(transformation) that God had in mind when we enter a relationship with Him.
Some people get so apathetic by being raised in church or by going to church so long, they lose sight or touch with their personal responsibility of growing, nuturing, and maturing their own faith. The problem is not the church, the problem is us. If people would move from going to church to being the church, the church would look different. Many stop the transforming process and become comfortable and their christianity becomes just another thing they do and they dont' really move past this stage. This is dangerous ground, I wouldn't want to risk my eternity with God by stopping at this stage.
Sometimes though people get stuck in a process or in one spot and do not change. Are you there? Are you just going through the motions? Just playing church? Maybe you attend church every week, maybe you volunteer regularly, but are you growing? maturing? transforming? We must never stop changing, never stop growing, never stop learning, and never stop making an effort to know God deeper, better, or more closely.
Many people make a decision to become a christian or to attend church, but many never make the commitment. There is a huge difference between a decision and commitment. There is a huge difference between just believing or knowing and living out or having faith. God wants us all to be transformed, not temporarily, but eternally, and so we must continue the process and not stop changing.
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."