Church hopping

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Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#1
Is it unfaithful to church hop? I mean go to different churches each week.
What do you think?

If people are married they usually go to just one church ( usually the one they got married in) forever. But us singles arent bound to anyone, and that may include churches.

Also there are many different churches esp if you live in a multicultural, diverse city like mine, you want to experience them all.
 

Oncefallen

Idiot in Chief
Staff member
Jan 15, 2011
5,771
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#2
Is it unfaithful to church hop? I mean go to different churches each week.
What do you think?
I think you are doing both yourself and the church body a disservice. The greater part of each individual congregation is community and accountability which if you are church hopping you are robbing yourself of, but you are also robbing a congregation of those qualities that you would add to it.

I have noticed that in the past 30 years or so the whole idea of the lone wolf Christian has become considerably more common but you won't find that idea supported within scripture, rather you will find the opposite to be true.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,581
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#3
Is it unfaithful to church hop? I mean go to different churches each week.
What do you think?

If people are married they usually go to just one church ( usually the one they got married in) forever. But us singles arent bound to anyone, and that may include churches.

Also there are many different churches esp if you live in a multicultural, diverse city like mine, you want to experience them all.
The ideal of course is that you find a church that fits you and you settle down and stay there and get integrated into the community. But in practice that can be extra difficult for us singles because family, children, and marriage things are what get the most publicity as far as church activities go (and often seem to be the bulk of church activities).

I think it's fine to look around at different churches when you're between churches or otherwise in transition, and it's certainly better to visit different churches every week than to just not go to church because you don't have a church or don't feel like it. But as singles one of the greatest temptations we face is to avoid or refuse things like accountability and community and being part of something enough to be committed to it. If we refuse to let our lives be bound to anyone or anything (churches, friends, organizations, etc) we're going to live very isolated and lonely lives. And church hopping can also reflect the attitude of no community has a right to me and my help and my service.

So I'd say if a Christian isn't looking ultimately for a church home, then they should probably be doing some self examination. Also if a person keeps jumping ship from churches at the first sign of conflict, that's not a good and healthy thing either. But if a person finds themselves in a season of transition or other life upset, it may be that they need to wander around the many manifestations of the body to find the one that really feels like home to them. And that's fine.

We also don't want to forget the many who either due to physical illness or living in a nation where christian worship is illegal have a difficult and possibly risky time gathering together with other believers. When we think about the challenges some people face just to be in church, then it seems even more like we're squandering the privilege and freedom we have to publicly assemble.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#4
Hmm good points I just kind of wondered how does someone really find a church home that fits, especially when they may not even actually have a home of their own.

I think it is harder for singles to settle on one church fellowship for a long time. Populations are more mobike these days and they are also many churches, and many different gatherings its not like theres only one that everyone goes to and you have no choice. And its not good to stay in one thats treating you badly esp if youve done everything you can to sort things out. I think it would be torture to stay in one that wasnt working and where you were made to feel unwelcome like being stuck in a miserable job.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#5
Paul, because he was single, was able to plant many churches in different locations and he kept in Touch with them all. And held everyone accountable and prayed for them, so its not like he just left them to themselves. I dont believe that leaving a church physically means you have left it spiritually. You cant obviously be everywhere at once.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#6
Another is that you want to be challenged and want to meet different people and experience different minsitries rather than the same ones all the time. Yes there are minisitries that require long term commitment but doesnt mean you have to do them for the rest of your life. You may also want to introduce ministries to churches that dont have them, and set them up, inspire them, and then go to others.

So I dont see that as a loss.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
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#7
You're really good at the self-justification aren't you?

I think we need to be careful about thinking that things are harder for us just because we're single. We have different challenges, but those of us who are single and childless have fewer schedules to balance and no small children to get ready or find a sitter for when we want to go to church activities so I'm not sure we should say that it's harder for us. Not sure there's really any comparison and really if it's something you want to do, you'll usually find a way.

And there really is no comparison between a church planter, itinerant minister, etc and a single person who is living in one place and just doesn't want to be tied down by a committment to one church. Not to mention that before he started his missionary journeys and better known ministry Paul proved himself as part of the local church and only starting his missionary journeys after God specifically called him to it during the church elder's prayer time.

No one says that just because you commit to a church or a ministry you have to stay there in an unchanging state the rest of your life. Nor is there anything that says you can only be involved in the ministries or the during the week activities of just one church. But none of that has to do with the original topic of the thread which was church hopping, defined as "go to different churches each week". And the answer that you're going to get from pretty much any of the regulars around here is that you should be seeking to have one church that is "your church" or home base or your community of faith or whatever else you want to call it and not drift around between communities and not actually be connected to any of them.
 
T

tasha66

Guest
#8
I am single. Though I've said on several posts that I am no Bible expert, does it actually say in the Bible that we have to attend one church? I've attended churches & halls (JW's don't call their place of worship a church). Some I haven't agreed with their philosophies or way of worship, alot are just channeled towards family worship, and single people are basically left out. I move for work so have no choice to seek somewhere new.
I personally think it's a great idea to attend other churches, to see new ideas and new ways of worship. As I said above, I haven't attended one church that has programs for younger or older single people; not just dating per se, but for friendship, ie: singles nights etc. They are all family orientated.
Also, if you are stuck at home and find it difficult or impossible to get out (you may be disabled etc), you can just pray at home or have visitors. The internet is a God send in this regard for those who want to keep in touch with their church online or with others. There are new ways of worship, that aren't necessarily bad - it's just the way the world is changing.
Jesus preached out on the hilltops to thousands. He didn't have a church. So does it really make a difference?
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#9
You're really good at the self-justification aren't you?

I think we need to be careful about thinking that things are harder for us just because we're single. We have different challenges, but those of us who are single and childless have fewer schedules to balance and no small children to get ready or find a sitter for when we want to go to church activities so I'm not sure we should say that it's harder for us. Not sure there's really any comparison and really if it's something you want to do, you'll usually find a way.

And there really is no comparison between a church planter, itinerant minister, etc and a single person who is living in one place and just doesn't want to be tied down by a committment to one church. Not to mention that before he started his missionary journeys and better known ministry Paul proved himself as part of the local church and only starting his missionary journeys after God specifically called him to it during the church elder's prayer time.

No one says that just because you commit to a church or a ministry you have to stay there in an unchanging state the rest of your life. Nor is there anything that says you can only be involved in the ministries or the during the week activities of just one church. But none of that has to do with the original topic of the thread which was church hopping, defined as "go to different churches each week". And the answer that you're going to get from pretty much any of the regulars around here is that you should be seeking to have one church that is "your church" or home base or your community of faith or whatever else you want to call it and not drift around between communities and not actually be connected to any of them.
There are heaps of different churches in my local community at last a dozen or more. So you could go to a different church each week and get to know people, and maybe stay for a year or so at a time.

I taught Bible in schools in about seven different primary schools. When I gardened we did at least ten different sites, and libraries worked for seven different branches. Its just geography in big city thats all connected, so I dont see the problem.

Maybe you only live in a gated community that gets insular, but my experience of closed communities is they become stagnant and stuck in their ways. The holy spirit goes where it wills.

Ive always fellowshiped with at keast three different church fellowships all at the same time, one week will have one bible study with one group, the next with another, and a third would be international.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#10
Of course when you find one that God really wants you to stay in He will let you know. He will also tell you (and show you ) when its time to move on.

Church hopping seems to get a bad rap (by certain pastors who are stuck with one church) but if you are not a pastor, then there is nothing to stop you from going where there is pasture. If youve ever done dry stock farming, you know if the stock are stuck in one place too long theyll eventually exhaust all the grass.

Im all for being free range rather than battery caged.
 
T

tasha66

Guest
#11
Pasture and pastor, lol, a good analogy Lanolin!
 
M

Miri

Guest
#12
LAN, I would say that if you feel called to some sort of ministry,
speaker, motivator, evangelist etc. Then yes it’s ok to move around go to
different churches. Be invited to preach, speaker, etc. That’s what Paul did.
That’s what people in this kind of ministry do. Although from the few I know they
also have a HOME church.

However you seem to be suggesting that it’s ok for everyone to church hop.
Personally I would find a church you feel comfortable with and stick to it, get involved
in it. Develop friends and become part of the community. There is nothing wrong with
occasionally visiting other church’s, but don’t make the mistake of becoming someone who
belongs nowhere.

I get the singles bit, I’m single two. Maybe find a church with a good singles ministry.
 
M

Miri

Guest
#13
By the way know of a lady who church hops. She feels it is her mission to go to a “dead”
or “dry” church stir it up, then leave when she feels God tells her to move on.

I honestly cannot comment on her behalf as to whether this is a genuine ministry or not.
Maybe it is I don’t know. One thing I do know is that she often doesn’t leave on good terms
and is often labelled a bit of a busy body who thinks she knows better and stirs thing she up
in a bad way.

Maybe she is right and those churches do need stirring up and maybe that’s why they
get a bit resentful a bit like the Pharisees etc.

On the other hand.....
 

cassita

New member
Sep 27, 2019
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1
www.myhiddenstrength.com
#14
Is it unfaithful to church hop? I mean go to different churches each week.
What do you think?

If people are married they usually go to just one church ( usually the one they got married in) forever. But us singles arent bound to anyone, and that may include churches.

Also there are many different churches esp if you live in a multicultural, diverse city like mine, you want to experience them all.
It all depends on the intention/reason for "church hopping." My personal advice would be to find a church home to commit to and attend on Sundays. Then once established, you can and should begin to explore other churches to attend for weekday services and/or special events. That's where you get your multicultural experiences.

When I began my walk with Christ, I didn't want to learn from just one preacher, so I searched online and found many churches and preachers to learn from. I watched (and still watch) countless YouTube sermons, attend conferences, and now here I am on a Christian chat forum :).

To answer your question, no, I wouldn't say it's unfaithful to do the above, as long as your eyes are on Christ. Be deeply rooted in Him and in His Word so you aren't led astray by various teachings or cultural diversities.

Matthew 6:33 "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Hope this helps!
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
16,958
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#15
Ah thank you Cinder. You said what I was thinking, but said it better than I could have.

Unfortunately in this case it seems it didn't make even a slight difference.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
9,990
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#16
Im not encourgaing peoole to church hop for silly reasons. But its good to get out into the wider body of christ. I think some people view it as being unfaithful though, which might be the case sometimes, but generally its not.

I think some churches like to think thy are the ONLY church in town and everyone ought to go there and nowhere else, but thats not reality. And we are accountable to God so its not like anyones going to the church of scientology here.
 
M

Miri

Guest
#17
Im not encourgaing peoole to church hop for silly reasons. But its good to get out into the wider body of christ. I think some people view it as being unfaithful though, which might be the case sometimes, but generally its not.

I think some churches like to think thy are the ONLY church in town and everyone ought to go there and nowhere else, but thats not reality. And we are accountable to God so its not like anyones going to the church of scientology here.

Maybe the problem is that churches don’t share and support each other like they should.

In my city the churches happily band together to put on and support events. There is also a city wide church leaders group and other things. So it’s not unusual to be in my home church and get invited to other church events etc.

The churches also club together in ministry, food banks, street angels, teen challenge, kidz club and much much more.

That way you have your home church but can support other church events too without any issues. It’s actively encouraged.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
16,958
4,146
113
#18
Miri your town... Or at least the churches in your town... Sound like the churches in my town.
 
H

Hamarr

Guest
#19
The main areas where singles have it rougher is maybe socializing and finding places or serve depending on the attitudes in the church. I have been searching a bit for the right church, but plan to stick it out when I find it.

my expectations might be a bit high since I would like to make those genuine supportive type connections I have made in other groups.
 

TheLearner

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2019
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#20
Hmm good points I just kind of wondered how does someone really find a church home that fits, especially when they may not even actually have a home of their own.

I think it is harder for singles to settle on one church fellowship for a long time. Populations are more mobike these days and they are also many churches, and many different gatherings its not like theres only one that everyone goes to and you have no choice. And its not good to stay in one thats treating you badly esp if youve done everything you can to sort things out. I think it would be torture to stay in one that wasnt working and where you were made to feel unwelcome like being stuck in a miserable job.

When I was in the Airforce, I called different churches asking to interview the Pastor and up to six attenders at a meeting with them, usually over dinner. I complied a list of questions to ask. Some news papers had a religious section back then, so I sent a letter to the editor asking if they would post a tell me about your church with my address. Most required the letters go through them so they could study the letters too.