You're breaking up with me because I'm too ... blonde.
We continue with our series based on The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, by Mark Atteberry. The following are some notes from my Sunday school lesson at Providence Church.
DUMB MOVE #5: Hopping from Church to Church
“We treat church with a consumer mentality—looking for the best product for the price of our Sunday morning. As a result, we’re fickle and not invested for the long-term, like a lover with a wandering eye, always on the hunt for something better.” – Joshua Harris
Of church hoppers, Atteberry notes, “In their minds, every hop is justified.” Who are these church hoppers?
2 Breeds of Church Hoppers:
1. The Complainers
“The complaining church hopper is never satisfied. He finds fault with everything the church does and foolishly believes the church down the highway will be exactly what he’s looking for.”
2. The Consumers ~ This is a new breed of church hopper, sampling the best various churches have to offer.
“With so many new churches springing up and offering such a rich diversity of worship styles, preaching styles, and programming, there can be a smorgasbord of fascinating possibilities in a single community.”
By way of illustration, “You may prefer the fries at McDonald’s, the Whopper at Burger King, and a Wendy’s Frosty for your sweet tooth.” The consumer church hopper will approaches churches the same way.
Churches are not perfect, but in the search for the perfect one, hoppers keep hopping.
“Who came up with this notion that you should never settle down and commit to a church until you find one that’s perfect in every way?” ... “Satan did, that’s who.”
Atteberry’s 6 Conclusions about Church Hopping:
1. Church hoppers tend to be very critical.
“[church] flaws are their license to keep hopping.”
They will keep inspecting until they find something wrong to validate the hunch that this church was unworthy of them.
2. Church hoppers tend to have a “Me First” attitude.
“The bottom line: Chronic church hoppers love to be catered to, doted on, and spoon-fed. And when they aren’t, they’re gone.”
3. Church hoppers almost never get involved.
The church needs committed people that can be counted upon, however.
“God has always intended for service and ministry to happen inside the body of Christ. But that can’t happen without people who settle in and become steadfastly committed and involved.”
4. Church hoppers almost never make a series financial investment in the church.
“So if a church hopper’s heart isn’t in the local church (and it never is), his or her money won’t be either.”
5. Church hoppers make it a point to remain emotionally detached.
We need each other and if we’re detached from each other, we become easy prey (1 Pet 5:8).
“When God’s people lock arms and commit to watching out for one another, [Satan’s] opportunities are greatly reduced.”
6. Church hoppers enjoy living free from accountability.
“Good elders watch for and “blow the whistle” on conduct that would be harmful to the body. But, of course, they have jurisdiction over only the specific flock they’re a part of. That means a church hopper, because he hasn’t officially identified himself with any one church, is virtually exempt from any oversight.”
5 Blessings of a Long-Term Commitment to a Church:
- Serving faithfully in one church over the long haul will give you a sense of belonging.
- Serving faithfully in one church over the long haul will give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Serving faithfully in one church over the long haul will lead you to some wonderful discoveries about yourself.
- Serving faithfully in one church over the long haul will fill your life with meaningful relationships.
- Serving faithfully in one church over the long haul will make you a powerful witness for the LORD.
- The essence of Kant’s Categorical Imperative* is that one should only do that which he/she would wish everyone else should do also. What would be the state of Christianity if everyone had the church hopper M.O.?
- Why is church hopping bad for the church? Why is it bad for the individual church hopper?
- How do you move people from being consumers to contributors, takers to givers?
- Atteberry says that, “there are times when it would be wrong not to look for another church home.” So, while it may be easier to find invalid reasons to change churches, what are some valid reasons to leave? Are there some reasons that necessitate leaving a church?
*1st Maxim/1st Formulation: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”