Now as a pastor, you probably think that I am not too fond of this practice. And if you think that, you are right. Is there a time and place for church hopping? Yes, I think so ... but to make it OK I would add the letter "s" in front of the word "hopping." So when church hopping is in reality church shopping - then there is a place for it. People need to find the spiritual community in which they believe they fit. A place where they can serve Jesus as they grow in their faith. And as I tell people, you should not judge a church family on just one visit (churches like people have their share of "bad" days!). But once people find their fit - then I believe they need to connect and settle in! However, far too often in our consumer driven culture - people get up and leave a church when their needs are "no longer being met" or when something happens that they don't like or agree with. And often they disappear with no contact with the pastor or other leaders.
No one can accuse me of church hopping (or church shopping!). I have been at Grace for 18 years (as of TOMORROW!). Have I always been pleased with what has transpired here? Have difficult moments caused me to "throw in the towel" and go looking for another church? Obviously the answer to both of those questions is "No!" When difficulties arise - families sit down and work through them. Family members don't (or at least should not) get up and leave the family. Is Grace the perfect church? No. Never has been nor never will be! But that is OK. For me - it's my family. And that means - no church hopping (or shopping) for me!
Thanks for listening,