The Downside Of Church Hopping

The church I attend is a fairly large one.  I have seen it grow over the years and while I consider that something to be celebrated, I have heard others who see it as a detriment.  One of the reasons some people have left the church is because they felt “lost” and not able to really connect to people.

However, despite the size of my church they also do a wonderful job at creating opportunities for the congregation to fit in.  They offer a variety of life groups, some for the entire family and other life groups that are just for men or just for women.  They also offer a number of classes and Bible studies where you have the opportunity to be in a smaller group setting.

I could really go on with the opportunities but I think the real point is that too often people are quick to move on to something else because they don’t give it a fair shake. 

There are other reasons that I have heard when people leave their churches.  Someone offended them.  They had a disagreement with another believer.  They are not getting recognized for their talent.  And the list goes on. 

I do believe that there are times when God will move someone from one church to another but this whole idea of “church hopping” doesn’t seem very fruitful.  It’s almost like some believers turn into these wandering souls, hoping to find that one church that will meet their every expectation.

Well here is the problem with that…we are human.  Churches are run by imperfect people.  While the majority of them probably do strive to live as Jesus would have us live, the fact remains that no church can fulfill our every need.  It’s our relationship with Jesus that does that.

So instead of looking to a building or a pastor or a congregation to meet the needs you have, look to Jesus.  Then it won’t matter so much what happens within the walls of your church.  You won’t be so quick to look elsewhere just because your every whim hasn’t been met. 

The reality is that no matter what church you attend, you are likely to be disappointed by someone or something.  It’s part of life.  It’s what happens in other circles such as with our family, our friends and our work.  But stay the course and remember that you could make a significant difference in your church. 

Be First to Comment

  1. Joe_Sewell said:

    Great post, Stephanie. Just a couple of quick quotes/thoughts on what you wrote: 1. No church is perfect. If you ever happen to find one, don’t go there, or it’ll be imperfect. ๐Ÿ™‚ 2. Church size says very little about a church. The question is: is it God-Sized?รขโ€žยข

    January 27, 2011
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  2. said:

    I loved Joe’s comment. He is right of course. Great article and Joe’s point of whether it is “God-Sized” was excellent too. Thanks Stephanie, and Joe too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 30, 2011
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  3. Joe_Sewell said:

    Should I admit that I’m seriously considering writing a book: The God-Sized Church: Finding Your Place In His Place?

    January 30, 2011
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  4. said:

    Hey Joe, that’s a great idea. Love the title. I had one person who is a Christian tell me that the church is full of hypocrites…and I responded by saying, “Hey, there’s always room for one more!” LOL I didn’t mean to be cruel, but as you said, if you manage to find a perfect church, don’t join it. The book idea is great Joe. I have published three books, although few have sold. I wrote an article on this and you can see how easy it is at: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2617091/how_to_write_and_selfpublish_your_own.html?cat=38 Many blessings friend.

    January 30, 2011
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  5. Joe_Sewell said:

    Thanks, Jack. I’d rather not go the self-publishing way, given the experiences I’ve heard from 2 friends who did that. On the other hand, after reading Michael Hyatt’s blog articles on publishing (he’s CEO of Thomas Nelson) and chatting just a bit with Anne Jackson, I’m not sure the full-bore publishing route is a good thing, either. First thing’s first, though: get at least the outline done. ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 31, 2011
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  6. said:

    Many blessings to you on what I feel is a worthwhile and very important subject Joe. Love the topic.

    January 31, 2011
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  7. Sorry to jump in here late but I felt led to add this. A big reason why people leave that was not mentioned is because they do not want to contribute to the body. They want to be pew warmers. They want to sit in their chairs, be fed and go home. We get out of church exactly what we put into it. If we are active and in service- giving back and producing fruit in the body of Christ, we should feel fed regardless of the flaws in a building or the people that run it. If more people cared about serving others instead of looking for ways to “get fed” there wouldn’t be so many church hoppers.

    February 4, 2011
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  8. said:

    Sherry this is such an intelligent observation. I pray we don’t have pew potatoes in our church but I fear their may be. You are right…we should be concerned with giving rather than getting. Serving one another in love and sacrifice and not just pretending but contending for the faith. I don’t expect perfection in the church…just look at me, I’m the pastor (LOL). If I caste the first stone it would have to be at myself! We are not perfect, just forgiven. The One that’s perfect is Jesus and HE’s the reason we are there…to worship Him and so it is to give not to get. You and Joe Sewell have added much to this fine article by Stephanie.

    February 4, 2011
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  9. Joe_Sewell said:

    (Sorry for the delayed response; slowly catching up on the week’s flood of email.) You and Sherry do have very good points, Jack. One sad truth to consider, though, is that some “pew potatoes” are actually church burn-outs who are trying to heal after being run through the wringer elsewhere, pushed to do so much for the church (not necessarily for God & directed by Him) that they are afraid to get trapped in “ministry” again. An excellent book on this subject is Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic by Anne Jackson.

    February 6, 2011
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  10. said:

    Nice observations Joe. I think your spot on the mark on that. I must check out that book you suggested because anything that I can do as a pastor is always better for the health of a church. Thank you so much for your beneficial and positive remarks. It is so good having a Christian man that is interested in helping the Body of Christ and you have such great insight into this particular issue with the church. Please allow me to thank you for your wonderfully benevolent remarks and to thank God FOR you to sir.

    February 6, 2011
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