Church hopping people annoy me. I don’t mean people who hop around in church, those are generally known as toddlers (and yes, I am fully aware that in some churches they are called adults too), I mean people who go from church to church to church.
In my town there are 3 or 4 churches that are larger, and really it is anyone’s guess which one will keep the “BIGGEST” church in town banner. The people seem to rotate between these churches. (Yes, I do attend one of them.) Every few years there is a general shift in attendance as people go from one church to the other. When they move they gush on facebook “Oh we just LOVE our new church! It’s so much better than the old one!” “People sure are friendly at our new church! We just LOVE it here!” “The pastor’s sermons at our new church are never as dull as at our old church. We just LOVE our new church!” And in a few years time they are saying the same words about another church. Until they come full circle and are back at the original “old” church.
Some of this is done by those who simply “fade away” in attendance. By “fade away” I mean they are no longer (if they ever were) regular attenders. They simply miss a few Sundays for whatever reason and then begin attending a different church. When this happens they usually get rather upset because “no one has called to ask why we aren’t there anymore” and so they feel somewhat justified in crucifying the old church to anyone who will listen.
While they might have a valid reason, wouldn’t it be much better for them to approach someone in the church about their feelings before making the leap to another better, friendlier church? I can certainly understand feeling like no one even notices you. I get that but what we fail to realize is church is not all about us.
We should not attend church for any reason other than worshiping the Creator and serving our Savior. We should not attend church to get fed, yes, feeding will and should happen but it shouldn’t be the main course but rather dessert. We are to do our feeding at home and use Sunday mornings of corporate worship as a chance to minister and feed others from what we have received during the week.
When we church hop, we can’t complain when no one weeps because we are no longer there because when the church hop happens every couple of years, chances are you’ve church hopped with many others and no one is surprised when you’re not there.
That might be harsh and maybe I should apologize but I’m not sure I’m sorry. As someone who has attended the same church since 1983 (minus 2.5 years we lived out of the area). Thirty years in the same church. I have seen more people come and go than the carnival. I’ve heard all the stories.
And frankly I’m getting angry with those who blame others for leaving. “If someone would have called to see where I’ve been, I wouldn’t have left.” “I just wasn’t getting fed there.” Or this one, “No one liked me.” “No one was my friend.”
Hello! If you want to have friends, be friendly. I’ve seen people walk around church with the angriest, sourest expression on their faces and then claim no one liked them. I’ve personally reached out to some, I’ve been rebuffed and then hear that no one liked them and they had no friends in church.
Church should not be a popularity contest, for us or the building. Jesus (should) always win that contest.