Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Vessels of Honor Worldwide 

Living Out Loud Blog

Living Out Loud Blog

Church Hopping

Posted on January 12, 2016 at 5:25 PM

A man approached one of our Guest Services volunteers and asked, “Where are the Sno-Cones?”


For the past few summers, we’ve offered Sno-Cones following our weekend services as part of our Guest Services experience. The goal was to give exiting kids a final pleasant memory of their time at Meck (Mecklenburg Community Church), as well as create a “linger” factor for parents to connect with each other and the staff.


This summer, we’ve been offering them as a “surprise” on select weekends, but not every weekend.


“I go to another church,” he continued, “but during the summer I come here for the Sno-Cones. So where are they?”


The volunteer explained to him our current approach to Sno-Cones, and he became rather indignant. “Is there any way you can let people know in advance when it’s a Sno-Cone weekend so that we know when to come?”





I guess people really like crushed ice and syrup.


Let’s talk church hopping, shall we?


Actually, I’m not the one bringing the subject up. It was surprising to find two articles on the matter get picked up and carried nationally – in the same week, no less – this past month.


First, a working definition: church hopping is going from one church to another without committing to any one church for any significant period of time (which makes it different than legitimate church “shopping”).


As Betsy Hart writes, hoppers reflect a growing tendency to decide, after they have officially joined a particular church, that “Oh, that pastor down the street is a little more high-energy than mine,” or “Gee, the music here isn’t really meeting my needs right now,” or “I really am not crazy about that new children’s church director.”


So they hop from church to church.


The hard-core hopper never even makes an initial commitment. They perpetually float between churches, pursuing a Beth Moore study at First Baptist, youth group at First Methodist, weekend services at Hope, Grace, or Community Church, marriage enrichment events at …w ell, you get the picture.


What’s driving this?


For some, it’s simply the consumer mindset of our culture at work.


As Hart writes, “Church ‘hopping’ is the ultimate ‘all about me’ experience.” They take from various churches whatever it is they perceive to be of value without committing to any one church either to serve or support.


For some, it’s insecurity.


They have to be wherever they think it’s “happening” in the Christian world. I know of pastors who joke about a “migratory flow pattern” among Christians in their community who are constantly church-hopping to the “next” thing in church life.


They move from one church to another, looking for the next hot singles group, the next hot church plant, the next hot speaker, the next hot youth group.


Many times they end up full circle where they began, because their original church suddenly became “next.”


For some, it’s spiritual gluttony.


They want nothing more than to be “fed,” and when they feel they’ve eaten all a church has to offer, they move on where there is the potential for more food – as if that is what constitutes growing in Christ or being connected to Christ.


For some, it’s refusing accountability.


A pattern of sin is pursued, or a choice made, and they leave for a place where no one knows, and no one asks.


For some, it’s avoiding stewardship.


If they are not committed to any one church, there is no obligation to give or serve at any one church. They can float above sacrifice without guilt.


For some, it’s emotional immaturity.


A decision is made they don’t agree with, a building campaign is initiated they didn’t vote for, a staff change is made they didn’t like, so they take their marbles and go play somewhere else.


I know, I know. None of these reflect well on the person leaving, which intimates that anyone who leaves a church is somehow in the wrong, and that is not fair.


In truth, there can be times to not simply hop, but leap. If there is scandal that is simply not addressed, doctrinal heresy, or patterns of abuse, you should leave.


But for the typical hopper, it’s not time for self-justification, but loving admonishment.


First, church isn’t about you. Sorry, but it’s not. It isn’t one of many stores in a mall that exists to serve your spiritual shopping list. Church is a gathered community of believers who are pooling together their time, talent and resources to further the Great Commission.


Find one and start investing your life.


Second, the very nature of authentic community is found in the “one anothers.” Love one another, serve one another, encourage one another; this cannot happen apart from doing life with people.


You need community.


Third, the absence of a ministry you desire may be God’s call on your life to start it, rather than leave to find a church that has it. Remember, every member is a minister, and has been given at least one spiritual gift for service in the life and mission of the church.


Fourth, you aren’t going to agree with every decision the leadership of any church makes, regardless of its structure or decision-making process. You either feel you can trust the character of the leadership, or you can’t.


And being able to trust that leadership doesn’t mean they will always do things the way you think they should. In other words, don’t hop every time you disagree. That’s immature.


(And for goodness sake, don’t stay and pout or politic, either. Either get on board once the decision is made, if it was one that didn’t breach doctrine or ethics, or find a place where you can.)


Fifth, don’t worry about being fed as much as learning to feed yourself. Even more, concern yourself with taking what you already know and applying it to your life, and then helping to feed others who are new to the faith!


Finally, spiritual depth isn’t fostered by satiating your sense of felt needs. It’s receiving a balanced diet of teaching and challenge, investing in service and mission, living in community and diversity that you probably would not select for yourself.


If you simply go to where you are drawn, you will miss out on addressing those areas of life where you are blind.


All to say, if you’re ever at Meck, have a Sno-Cone.


But don’t leave your church to come for it.


Start serving them there.


James Emery White



Categories: None

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply golden goose francy
5:40 AM on June 7, 2023 
Thank you so much for giving everyone an extraordinarily terrific chance to check tips from this site. It can be very pleasing plus stuffed with a great time for me and my office friends to visit your blog at a minimum three times in a week to read the latest stuff you have got. And definitely, I'm just at all times impressed concerning the special hints you give. Certain two tips in this article are unquestionably the most beneficial we've ever had.
golden goose francy
Reply ggdb outlet
3:08 AM on June 7, 2023 
A lot of thanks for your whole hard work on this web page. Debby really likes managing investigations and it's really obvious why. Most of us learn all relating to the dynamic tactic you deliver informative guidance on the website and even attract response from website visitors about this area then my girl is actually discovering a great deal. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. Your conducting a very good job.
ggdb outlet
Reply off white
2:43 AM on June 7, 2023 
Needed to create you the little word to give thanks over again for your personal remarkable ideas you've shared on this website. It is simply seriously generous of you to deliver easily precisely what most people could possibly have made available as an ebook to help make some bucks for their own end, even more so given that you could have tried it in case you considered necessary. Those tactics in addition served to provide a easy way to be certain that some people have the identical interest much like my very own to find out much more in regard to this issue. I know there are numerous more pleasant sessions in the future for individuals that browse through your blog.
off white
Reply ggdb sneakers
1:41 AM on June 7, 2023 
I wish to express my appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this particular circumstance. Just after browsing throughout the search engines and seeing opinions which were not productive, I figured my life was gone. Living devoid of the answers to the difficulties you have fixed through your main article content is a serious case, and those that would have in a negative way affected my entire career if I had not come across your website. Your good competence and kindness in handling all the things was crucial. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not encountered such a thing like this. I am able to at this point relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for your skilled and sensible help. I won't think twice to refer your web sites to anyone who needs to have direction about this matter.
ggdb sneakers http://www.
Reply goyard online store
6:12 PM on June 6, 2023 
I am writing to let you understand what a incredible encounter my wife's daughter encountered visiting yuor web blog. She discovered many things, not to mention what it is like to have a very effective coaching character to make other people without difficulty fully understand a number of advanced topics. You truly exceeded our own desires. Thank you for churning out those interesting, safe, edifying and fun tips about your topic to Mary.
goyard online store
Reply birkin bag
1:38 PM on June 6, 2023 
My spouse and i ended up being quite thrilled Ervin could carry out his survey via the ideas he acquired while using the site. It's not at all simplistic to simply continually be handing out hints which usually men and women could have been trying to sell. Therefore we discover we have got the writer to be grateful to for this. These explanations you have made, the straightforward blog menu, the relationships you will help instill - it is mostly overwhelming, and it's letting our son in addition to the family understand the content is fun, and that is truly pressing. Thanks for the whole thing!
birkin bag
Reply jordan retro
11:17 AM on June 6, 2023 
I and my buddies happened to be going through the good information and facts found on your website and immediately developed a terrible feeling I had not expressed respect to the blog owner for those secrets. These people had been so glad to read all of them and now have actually been making the most of these things. Thanks for indeed being really thoughtful and also for deciding upon such marvelous information most people are really desirous to be aware of. My very own honest apologies for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.
jordan retro
Reply EyeGeamn
1:36 AM on June 6, 2023 
atarax for insomnia
Reply bathing ape
12:21 AM on June 6, 2023 
I must show some thanks to this writer for rescuing me from this challenge. Right after searching through the the web and meeting opinions which are not productive, I was thinking my entire life was gone. Living without the solutions to the issues you have sorted out as a result of this article content is a crucial case, as well as those which may have adversely affected my entire career if I hadn't noticed your web blog. Your own personal capability and kindness in playing with the whole thing was very useful. I'm not sure what I would have done if I hadn't come upon such a point like this. I'm able to at this time look forward to my future. Thanks very much for your expert and result oriented help. I won't hesitate to recommend the sites to any person who needs to have guidance about this problem.
bathing ape
Reply adidas yeezy
11:57 PM on June 5, 2023 
I want to show my respect for your kind-heartedness giving support to men who require help on that area. Your personal commitment to getting the solution around had become definitely beneficial and has usually allowed people much like me to get to their endeavors. The valuable suggestions means a lot to me and even further to my colleagues. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.
adidas yeezy
Reply off white jordan
4:06 PM on June 5, 2023 
I precisely desired to say thanks once again. I'm not certain the things I would have handled without the type of pointers shared by you regarding this industry. This was a traumatic matter for me, nevertheless witnessing the very professional fashion you processed the issue took me to weep with contentment. I am grateful for this guidance and in addition pray you comprehend what a powerful job you are always doing educating people today by way of your blog post. I am sure you haven't encountered any of us.
off white jordan
Reply supreme
10:47 AM on June 5, 2023 
I in addition to my friends came going through the good secrets found on your web page while immediately came up with a terrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to the web blog owner for those strategies. All of the boys are already absolutely stimulated to read through all of them and have in reality been enjoying them. Thanks for being indeed accommodating and then for picking some brilliant tips most people are really desperate to understand about. Our own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to earlier.
Reply golden goose
10:15 PM on June 4, 2023 
I want to express some appreciation to you just for bailing me out of such a setting. Because of scouting through the online world and finding strategies that were not pleasant, I assumed my entire life was gone. Existing without the solutions to the issues you've solved by way of your good post is a critical case, as well as the kind that could have in a negative way damaged my career if I had not noticed your blog post. That competence and kindness in playing with all the details was tremendous. I don't know what I would have done if I had not discovered such a stuff like this. I can also now look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot very much for your high quality and results-oriented help. I won't hesitate to endorse your site to any person who would like tips on this area.
golden goose
Reply jordans shoes
9:52 PM on June 4, 2023 
Thank you for all your valuable labor on this blog. Kate delights in conducting internet research and it's really easy to understand why. A lot of people learn all concerning the compelling method you convey efficient guidelines via the website and therefore attract response from people on the matter while our favorite child is really learning a great deal. Have fun with the rest of the year. You're conducting a splendid job.
jordans shoes
Reply forexwale
8:45 PM on June 4, 2023 
monster energy cap grau 2016 striped t shirt womens long sleeve platform canvas high top converse sherri hill 52949 jordan retro 12 2018 kansas city chiefs facility t shirt red
Reply golden goose
2:08 PM on June 4, 2023 
I'm commenting to let you understand of the outstanding encounter my daughter had viewing the blog. She even learned many pieces, which include how it is like to possess an incredible giving mood to let other individuals just know precisely several grueling topics. You truly exceeded readers' expectations. Many thanks for imparting such priceless, safe, informative and fun guidance on that topic to Jane.
golden goose
Reply Darrylclify
10:56 AM on June 4, 2023 
5443 prednisone
Reply OFF-White
8:07 AM on June 4, 2023 
Thank you so much for providing individuals with an extremely superb chance to discover important secrets from this web site. It really is very kind and also jam-packed with a lot of fun for me and my office acquaintances to search your web site at the least 3 times per week to learn the newest things you will have. Not to mention, I am certainly motivated with the fabulous knowledge served by you. Selected 4 tips in this post are easily the very best I have ever had.
Reply supreme
6:13 AM on June 4, 2023 
A lot of thanks for all your efforts on this blog. My niece really loves getting into internet research and it's simple to grasp why. All of us hear all relating to the dynamic mode you convey efficient items via this web blog and in addition recommend response from other ones on this content and our favorite girl is actually understanding a whole lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. Your performing a really great job.
Reply RichardMox
3:22 AM on June 4, 2023