Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

Just Say NO To “Church Shopping/Hopping”

One of the things that really troubles me about “the church” in America today is the phenomenon of church shoppingchurch hopping. It’s purely an American consumeristic mindset towards the body of Christ that absolutely grieves the heart of God.

It’s time for us to “Just Say NO to Church Shopping/Hopping“. This isn’t Christianity. This isn’t “following Jesus”!  Jesus didn’t die so we could sample different churches like the buffet at Golden Corral. Jesus died to establish His church as the most powerful – life-changing – eternity altering – entity on the planet. It is time for us grab hold of the profoundly powerful idea of getting planted & embracing YOUR place in a local church.

We are alive at the greatest time in history for the advance of the gospel. We have so much going for us…

We have the ability.

We have the resources.

We have the technology.

We have the people.  (Cue the “6 million dollar man” theme music)

What we don’t have is enough people committed to a place where they can actually be used by God to fulfill their mission & purpose in life.

There is absolutely NO REASON why we shouldn’t experience a world-wide revival in our generation/lifetime. The reason we most likely will not —  is because we were too busy hopping to different churches to stop & commit to one long enough for God could use US to bring about that revival.

The church is the change agent the world is waiting for!  God have mercy on us — if we keep the world waiting — while we try to find the perfect church for us.

If you’ve fallen into the American consumeristic trap of church shopping/hopping – STOP!!!!  EMBRACE YOUR PLACE SOMEWHERE THAT GOD CAN USE YOU. At the end of your life, God is not going to be impressed or pleased that you SAW what He was doing at 10 different churches. He’s going be impressed & pleased that YOU WERE A PART of what He was doing at one church.

BTW: There’s no such thing as a perfect church! And if — by chance — you ever find a “perfect church” & you starting going there – YOU are going to screw it up!  There are no perfect churches because they are filled with imperfect people. If the church you’re visiting doesn’t have what you’re looking for — maybe it’s because God wants YOU to provide it.

The question isn’t – does God want to do incredible things through His church. The question is will WE stay in 1 place long enough – for Him to use us – to DO the incredible?

Find a place to get planted. Embrace it. And start changing the world!!!

(Some ideas inspired by Dan Southerland, Steven Furtick)

5 responses

  1. Kris

    Hi Howard;

    Here are my $0.02 on the subject:

    1) I like Golden Corral! (can’t you tell?) 😉

    2) I too found EPC after some “hopping” and “shopping”…most people I’ve met at our church came to us that way.

    You are right, it’s the American way, for better or for worse… BUT, as long as we do serve God in an environment that we like and can be comfortable in, that’s all that counts in my book.

    If someone is looking for greener pastures, then they need to go and we are probably better off without them in the long run, since they were not fully committed in the first place.

    The important thing is, we have committed people around us at EPC and it seems more and more folks join us to serve God and to be the church. I rather have fewer like-minded people around me that want to accomplish the same thing, than be part of some mega church that has a huge following with lots of people going in different directions.

    Thank you,
    Kris 🙂

    April 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    • Kris – I agree & thanks for your feedback. I certainly did not stay at the 1st church I ever visited when I came back to “church”. I think people definitely need to “shop around” & find a good fit with the same values & heart that they have.

      What I am speaking to is more the consumeristic mindset that is epidemic in churches today. I hear from & counsel pastors around the country all the time. A call from a frustrated pastor friend in Fresno, CA is what prompted me to write about what I’ve been thinking for quite some time.

      I really believe there is a epidemic in this country of people who are not only shopping for the “perfect church”, but also are so emotionally driven that when the newness wears off, there’s a challenge, or whatever – they trade in for a new model. (This isn’t only churches – we see it in cars, homes, marriages, & more).

      As a result, there are SO many people who have a 6 – 24 month “church life-span” before trading in for a new model. Hence, at the end of their life they will have SEEN what God is doing in 20 churches – rather than actually BE A PART of what God was doing in 1, 2, or 3 churches over the course of their lives.

      Our American society, & unfortunately even our American church society, doesn’t know how to commit to stick with something long-term (through good times & bad, etc…) Consequently, we are losing the spiritual battle in this country today.

      April 15, 2011 at 12:23 am

  2. Natalie Lagace

    We also searched for a church that we felt was right for us. I dont regret it a bit or we wouldnt be at Eagle Point right now.

    I also tied in several messages with different pastors preaching that helped tie some things together for me.

    I do think that you should be looking for a place that fits you and your family and then proceed to plant yourself there versus hopping around forever.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    • Natalie – please check out my response to Kris’ comment.

      April 15, 2011 at 12:23 am

  3. I couldnt think you are more right.

    October 27, 2011 at 7:19 am

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