5 Reasons Why Your Church Hopping Habit is Dangerous

Church Hop

This article isn’t intended to help you figure out whether or not you should leave your current church.  If that’s the situation you’re in, I recommend you check out THIS article as it very helpful.  The purpose of this article is to help you think through whether or not it is a good idea for you to attend multiple churches simultaneously.

Multiple churches simultaneously?  People in Texas who read this article will scratch their head thinking ” people attend multiple churches? Our problem is that we can’t keep the person in ONE church let alone multiple – isn’t this a good problem to have?”. The answer to that question is No, it’s not a good problem to have.  But before I tell you why, here are a few reasons why you might be church hopping right now:

  • Maybe you enjoy the cultural characteristics that your local ethnic church offers, but prefer the youth program of another church down the street?  Maybe you find yourself spending your Sunday mornings at the ethnic church, while you spend Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings hanging with the youth at the other church?
  • Maybe you absolutely love the local famous Christian personalities?  In the Seattle area many people love Pastor(s) Mark Driscoll, Judah Smith, and Casey Treat.  A lot of people church hop to see these three preachers.  It’s sort of like going to see your favorite band playing at the Key Arena. Young people especially like to church hop to see their favorite personality perform.
  • Maybe you attend the strict church of your parents on Sunday morning, and then scoot over to Mars Hill for an early afternoon or evening service to see Pastor Mark Driscoll preach and to chill with your friends? The service at your parents church is all business while the experience at the 2nd church is business (and pleasure).
  • Maybe you don’t feel comfortable or at home at your current church and when you go to the other church you feel welcome and happy?
  • Just to be clear, I am not writing to people who occasionally go to another church for a special event, class, conference, baptism, etc.  I am writing to the chronic church hoppers who are jumping between different churches on a weekly or monthly basis.

Did you know that church hopping can have some dangerous effects on both the hopper and the churches involved? I don’t think many church hoppers think this through and sort of just do it without realizing that their actions have consequences.  Because of this, I have compiled a short list of reasons I think will prove to you that your church hopping behavior is dangerous.

1) Don’t commit adultery with your primary church. While the Apostle Paul was a traveling evangelist who attended many church meetings in various locations, you probably are not a traveling evangelist and should find ONE local church that you can put all of your time, energy, and passion into. No one wants to have their spouse cheat on them.  So why cheat on your primary church by attending multiple churches?

2) Church hopping hurts your pastor(s) feelings. I know, you’re probably thinking “what is this middle school” ?  I think you would be surprised to find out that your pastor knows when you aren’t there on Sunday.  Your pastor see’s your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram updates at the other church you hop to.  Your pastor becomes discouraged when he realizes you are attending multiple churches. He feels like he can’t compete with the big boys.  He can’t keep you entertained.  Maybe he even changes his sermons around thinking “maybe they will stay here now”?  Many protestant denominations have gone down hill because of this.  People often complain about those “liberal” protestant denominations but never consider what made them the way they are in the first place.  I guarantee church hoppers played a part in their demise.

3) Church hopping has a financial impact on both your primary church and the church you are visiting.  I’m not a pastor, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say something shocking.  The pastor of the church you are hopping to doesn’t want you there!  If you are showing up, taking up a seat, not tithing, not seeking membership, and not deploying your gifts to the benefit of the church you are hopping to, your presence there is harmful practically, spiritually, and financially (and harmful financially to your primary church if you are splitting your donations).

4) Church hopping affects other people.  Church hopping takes seats away from people who are legitimately looking for a church to call home.  I frequently hear of standing room only at Mars Hill church services and events.  Meanwhile I see friends (who I know are members of different churches) posting on social media pictures of their “sweet front row seats”.  Meanwhile, there is a family showing up to church for the first or 2nd time, and they are standing for an hour and a half.  Your actions may actually prevent someone from hearing the Gospel!

5) You are robbing your primary church of your spiritual gifts and time.  While you are splitting your time between 2 (or more) churches, the church that you call home might be crumbling behind the scenes, and your pastor and leadership team might be burning out.  You need to pick one church and put all of your energy there.  God will use your gifts to bless the church.  Your pastor can’t do it on his own.  He needs you!  He wants you there! He needs your tithes! You are his congregation and he is your pastor.  Don’t be a church adulterer by robbing your primary church of your spiritual gifts and time.

There isn’t anything wrong with streaming a sermon or two throughout the week of your favorite preacher.  There isn’t anything wrong with attending a conference or special event at a different church.  There is something wrong with committing church adultery.  So stop hopping, find yourself a church you can call home, and put all of your time, energy, and gifts to use to accomplish the Great Commission. Ask your pastor how you can get involved and join the church membership.

7 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Your Church Hopping Habit is Dangerous

  1. Brandon…   I don’t think a Pastor has a clue if some of his parishioners are are attending other churches. Even if he does, he should be happy they are at least IN church as opposed to being in a bar somewhere, or simply staying home to watch videos or some other mindless activity. Belief in God, with this present generation, is at an all-time low, let alone the idea of regularly attending a church.   If a Pastor’s feelings are hurt from losing certain portions of the congregation, then perhaps he should look to the elders or administration to see if the church is missing the mark with watered down sermons or a worship band that sounds like Metallica. A pastor is a shepherd, and a teacher, divinely inspired to preach the good news…sadly, many churches today are dead to this central doctrine, and subsequently lose regular visitors, and worse, suffer a dwindling core of conistent followers. If folks aren’t taking notes, that’s a good thing! Put your pencil down, look directly at the preacher, and LISTEN! Faith comes by hearing, not by writing. If people can’t put down their latte, or put their gum back into a pocket long enough to hear the WORD of GOD, the message is lost to them.   I church hopped for quite a while before I found a place that was right for me….and I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else in the process. If people are serious about seeking a relationship with God, they may need to attend many churches before finding one to call home. If, on the other hand, folks are just jumping all over the place for the fun of it, then obviously they are NOT serious….but still, your post is bringing the hammer down on a group of people who are not diligently seeking the Lord, and they won’t take ANY of this seriously.   Corporate worship is not what it once was. Churches today are relying less on regular “membership” and more on small groups where less emphasis is placed on having a music ministry or a huge program of events programmed down to the last millisecond.   Perhaps in your generation this is more of an issue, but this post does not speak to me on any level, and frankly I feel using the description of church-hopping as adulterous very offensive. Adultery is a horrible sin, and wrong on so many levels. Church-hopping, although not ideal, is merely a lack of commitment in a person seeking a church home.   God Bless,   Dick      

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    • Dick, thanks for stopping by , and I’m sorry to hear your found the adultery example offensive .

      Truth be told the article wasn’t written for you . You attend one mega church that you are fully committed too. You don’t church hop. And your church is so big that you probably don’t even have the chance to talk to your minister when you show up on Sunday, so of course he has no clue that you were there .

      That isn’t the case for a lot of my readers though . The average sized church in America is less than 100 members . If you only have 100 people coming every week, you can easily tell if someone isn’t showing up.

      Also, a lot of the pastors i know have a social media presence so they are able to monitor their congregation throughout the week. A lot of younger people update their Facebook and twitter accounts many times a day. It’s very easy for a pastor to figure out why someone skipped a service when the persons status says “chilling at mars hill with John smith “.

      The article isn’t saying these church hoppers aren’t legitimate believers either . God bless the church hoppers for having passion to attend church and grow in their walk. The article is intended to help people think thorough the consequences of their actions .

      The last thing I will say is regarding the adultery reference . All throughout the prophets god speaks of the nation of Israel as “an adulterous nation” who commits adultery against god. This isn’t a sexual reference . This is god accusing them of abandoning him for false idol worship . I am deploying a similar meaning in my usage of the word where I am essentially saying “you have abandoned your commitment to X by splitting your attention between x and y. I think it’s an effective analogy and most of the feedback I have relieved has proven the effectiveness .

      I appreciate you writing and welcome you to comment anytime .

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  2. Pingback: 5 Things Your Church Needs From You to Be Successful | For His Glory

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