I love secular media. They run some story about Christianity like it is “breaking news.” This one is about church hoppers. (Like this is something we as pastors have just recently dealt with.)
As a pastor, here is the paragraph that sends my heart pounding:
“I didn’t want to necessarily tie myself to one specific denomination and church,” said Koscielniak, 22, who lives in St. Paul, where she attends the three churches. “They’re [denominations] important and distinctive, but in this time and age, it’s less so, especially for young people who didn’t grow up thinking their denomination was the absolutely correct one.”
If there is anything I wish I could communicate with any generation as a pastor and as a believer, it is this: I have been in my denomination (the Assemblies of God) my entire life. It is not the absolutely correct one. (And I won’t even get my credentials pulled for saying that.)
It is such a misnomer to say any church or any denomination thinks it’s absolutely the correct one. (There are sects that do that, but I’m speaking within orthodox Christianity.)
If I were not pastoring, I would still find a congregation of believers and stick with them. I can go to conferences, retreats, etc., where I can learn more from other denominations and churches. That is not the point of sticking to one church every Sunday or church hopping every Sunday.
Why stick in one place? Community.
If I church hop I can hide. I don’t mind learning from other places and churches. But if I keep hopping from one place to another, I don’t get to know people. I get to know experiences. That short-changes the power of the Body of Christ.
If I stay, I have to be vulnerable. I have to be ME. After awhile I can’t hide. The warts show. And I find out something powerful: People like me anyway. It is freeing.
I also begin to understand that certain people that I may not have understood when I first met them are people who have warts and problems as well. And my experience, my journey, just may help them.
I will not stop church hoppers. It will keep on going. But I just want people to quit using bad logic when they talk about WHY they church hop!
Please, dear saints, DIG INTO A PLACE! Love those people! Find out that they love you, too!