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Body Hopping

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have been to a lot of churches. A lot of churches. No, seriously, way more churches than is healthy for the soul.

Some of you will get this

The term for this is church hopping. It has become normal for people in America, even expected to church hop. It seems like the younger you are (as an adult over 18 years old) the more likely church hopping is part of your spirituality. Just like filliping channels on the TV, we never seem to want to commit to a single church. We are always wonder what is going on at the next church over. Americans are master consumers and we are trained to pick and choose what we want on a day to day basis. While this might be harmless when thinking about where to go for lunch or what TV show to watch, church hopping is different. Church hopping prevents you from really being ministered to and benefiting from a church. It also prevents you from providing contributing to and benefiting a church. How can you ever connect with a group of people who care about you and your walk with God if you never hang around long enough to be known? How can you minister or contribute if you never commit? Without mincing words I’ll declare that church hopping murders the church.

There are two main ways the church is murdered by church hopping

1. The Apostle Paul likened the church to a human body. Each person in the group is an organ, providing a unique, pivotal function for the entire body. Take away one organ, and the body doesn’t work properly. This is gospel 101 stuff. Here is where the larger Church community really suffers, we hop from church to church never contributing, but taking up resources. When enough people do this, churches are like bodies with no working organs but hundreds of parasites feeding off the body. In nature, we know that the only outcome possible is death. This is the true in the church as well.

2. Churches, as bodies, only function when they are made up of different parts. Paul spoke of people as “eyes,” “hands,” “feet,” etc. to illustrate that very different parts are needed to work together for the whole. The problem with church hopping (and the larger issue of spiritual consumerism) is that we ultimately tend to choose the “perfect church,” which in most cases is a church were everyone is just like us. We ghettoize ourselves in distinct churches. Imagine 10 people standing in a room. At some point all the body parts on all the people begin to revolt. The eyes say, “hey I’m an eye, why am I attached to a foot? I’m going to pop out of my body and go be with those other eyes!” All the eyes of the 10 people pop out and go to a corner of the room. Now we have a bloody pile of eyes sitting in a corner (completely useless detached from their respective bodies) while 10 blind people run around the room not knowing where they are going. The running doesn’t last for long, as the feet also decide to be with their own, and a bloody severance ensues. Likewise, many churches can become singularly focused and unhealthy when every member contributes the same thoughts and ideas (if, as I said before, they stay long enough to contribute it all). It is natural to want to feel like “one of the tribe,” but tribalism robs the church of its God-ordained vibrancy and life.

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