"He who has an ear to hear let him hear what the spirit says to the churches," Revelation 3:22
Jesus admonishes the reader many times in the bible: Matthew 11:15 "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." This admonition by Jesus is recorded six times: Matthew 11:15 , 13:9 and 13:43 ; Mark 4:9 ; and Luke 8:8 and 14:35 .
It doesn't do any good to read the bible or hear a good sermon if a person does not "hear" what is being said. What does Jesus mean? The words being read or spoken must go through the ears and take root in the brain for a person to "hear" a truth, reflect on it and verify the meaning of the words. Otherwise, the words just go in one ear and out the other, bypassing the brain.
Reason why we do not hear the words of Jesus? Tired, sleepy, distracted, stressed out, do not care, not interested, complacent, thinking about something else, and the reasons go on and on. To "hear" what is being written or said, a person must make a conscious effort to "listen" and incorporate them into their "thinking" brain.
What is a church? It is a body of believers in Jesus Christ, so when he admonishes "the churches" to listen to what He says, He is speaking to "believers," and not just to a body of people housed in a building referred to as a church.
In Revelation, He .speaks about seven churches that make him unhappy. These churches were put into the bible to represent churches today as well as churches during that time, to serve as an example.
I have attended many churches, some have split or otherwise did not function as He would have them to operate. I think He allowed me to experience these upsetting events, knowing I am a writer and have the guts to speak out against the way some, not all, churches function.
Churches should be a "save haven" for people to escape from the cares of the world such as gossip, meaness, criticism, and other negative behaviors.