church hopping and membership

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by abcgrad94, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Do you feel we should join a local church and become active and loyal to that church body, or is it ok to join a church and hop from church to church for different services?

    If you had someone in your church doing this, would you confront them about their church membership?

    Is it okay to "church hop" when you're not actively seeking a church to join? We have friends who do this every week. They are members at one church, but attend our church and several other churches "for variety."
     
  2. matt wade

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    I personally feel that we should join one church and become involved in it. It's not an issue to confront another about however.
     
  3. saturneptune

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    I feel if you join a local New Testement church, that is where the Lord has put you to serve, and that is where one should use their time, effort, tithe, and service. I believe a Christian is most effective in one local church. However, that is how I feel. How someone else feels or acts is none of my business, and no, I would not confront them. Confronting a fellow Christian is for the purpose of bringing some type of practicing sin to their attention as addressed in Matthew. I do not see church hopping as a sin.
     
  4. freeatlast

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    Unless you can point to some particular scripture that forbids what you are describing minding ones own business might be the best thing in this matter. At least they are attending and if they find one they can call home then perhaps they will stay put.
     
  5. abcgrad94

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    Maybe, but why join and become a "member" in a church if you have no intention of being faithful?

    Also, my feeling is that while attending church is about growing and worship, it's also about service. Hopping from one church to another seems to be more about what one can GET from a particular program than about what one can GIVE for service (teaching, choir, visitation, etc.) It also can be used as a tool to keep one un-accountable to the church where they are a member.
     
  6. saturneptune

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    Most churches have a time limit for non attendance before names are removed from the rolls. In real life, this is not enforced very well. It seems to me that if a local church wanted to make it a policy that church members were required to devote their service to only one church, that would have to be put in your local bylaws or Constitution, and that fact would have to be made clear when someone joined. Short of that, I do not see how you or the church could confront someone about that practice. As I said above, I agree with your basic statement that we should be loyal to one church, and I am.
     
  7. abcgrad94

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    Hmm. Good point, SN.
     
  8. mandym

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    A shipwrecked Baptist had been on a deserted island for 10 years. One day he saw a passing ship out at sea and lit his emergency fire to gain their attention. It worked and the Captain made way to rescue the shipwrecked baptist. As the captain and a few of his men pulled up to the shore in the dingy they were met with great joy by the shipwrecked baptist.

    The Captain shortly noticed three huts on the beach by the tree line and inquired about them. The shipwrecked baptist quickly responded with "Well the hut in the middle is where I eat and sleep. The hut on the left is where I go to worship God." With that the Captain asked "What is the one on the right for?" the shipwrecked baptist replied "That is where I used to worship God but I got mad and moved my membership!"
     
  9. nodak

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    I see no need to confront them.

    Perhaps one of them finds the music at one of the churches ushers them right into the presence of the Almighty.

    And perhaps the other find that the preaching at another church does the same for them.

    And yet maybe neither of those has a decent Bible study.

    Or perhaps they have been burned once toooo often by people who, in the name of discipleship, try to run their lives.

    What they are doing is not sin.

    Why would it be anyone else's business?
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    This sorta reflects my feelings about it.

    Does church membership carry no obligations whatsoever with it?

    Do we not have a covenant relationship with our fellow church members?

    I'm not convinced what this couple does is nobody's business. I suggest that a conversion between the pastor and them about this might be appropriate. This is a teachable moment.
     
  11. Scarlett O.

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    I can see precisely why this would and should be someone's business. Good grief, people. If a fish is floundering on the land, don't you put him back in the water?

    If I had a friend who had a membership at one church and yet visited other churches, including mine, for "variety", I would certainly stick my nose in and ask if they would like to make my church their home church and stay and serve here.

    It would be a genuinely friendly and loving invitation and not an accusation.

    If they chose not to, then I would not bring it up again. But to ignore their sporadic attendance - to me - would be irresponsible.

     
  12. annsni

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    I believe that we should commit ourselves to our church, serve there and if the church is not where we should be anymore, move on but don't start "sleeping around", so to speak. If one church has a great women's Bible study and your church doesn't, I don't see the issue but to join one church then begin church hopping is another thing altogether.
     
  13. Arbo

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    I think that unless this is a requirement for membership by the church, it is not something that one needs to be answerable (to the church body) for. There may be something lacking in one's spiritual diet that they are able to get elsewhere.

    If there is a concern, however, I do think it appropriate to ask why the member is going elsewhere if done in kindness.
     
    #13 Arbo, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2012
  14. Salty

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    As you know, I drive taxi -
    And this is exactly the same thing I do.
    There are 5 taxi companies in the Salt City, and each week I just go to a different taxi company and work. My goodness, one company has a great drivers lounge, another has great vehicles, one has a great contact with VIP companies...
    Well I did this for about a year, one Sat morning it happen the owners of all 5 companies happened to be at the same barber shop as me - at that point they all demanded to know which company I was going to work for.
    I told them it was none of their business. I had the best of all worlds.

    If you believe this story, I have a great bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    Salty

    PS - hope you get my drift
     
  15. dh1948

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    Just wondering....how often does one have to change churches in order to fall into the category of "church hopper?"
     
  16. Alive in Christ

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    I see nothing wrong AT ALL with someome church hopping. I do it. I am a regular at 3 churces.

    However, I have not abandoned my "Home" church, and it is still my primary church.

    I am much more regular at my home church than the other two. And I am more involved at my home church.

    The way I see it. as long as someone has a "home" church where they are the most involved...visit others to your hearts delight.

    After all, there is really one Church here on this earth anyway.
     
    #16 Alive in Christ, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2012
  17. menageriekeeper

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    I'm not sure why they'd ahve bothered to join with a church in the first place. Joining means certain things like tithing and serving and directing the future of the church.

    That said, my father church hops. His actual church membership is IN ANOTHER STATE ALTOGETHER! Not sure why. But when we moved to Alabama our church memberships/baptismal records did not follow us and my parents never formally joined with any congregation to my knowledge. Eventually, they did find a congregation that suited them both (not Baptist!) and settled there long enough that they were "made" members. I don't know exactly how that worked, but those folks consider my parents to be voting members of their church.

    But my father isn't always happy there for one reason or another and often disappears for a few weeks/months and heads on over to another local church (this one Baptist) where he serves in their visitation ministry (though I don't believe he votes on their internal church issues). Those folks consider him to be a member too. Honestly if those congregations have no issue with him bouncing back and forth, I certainly don't!

    And in keeping with the family tradition I am at present bouncing between two churches and two different denominations myself. Personally I find it a bit of a pain in the neck. Eventually I expect to make a decision, but for now this is what suits my family's needs and mine as well.
     
  18. Gina B

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    Why join if you're going to church hop? Joining implies a commitment to help that church and if one regularly attends a variety of churches, how is that helping the church they committed to?

    I see nothing wrong if they don't join. In fact, that may be how they best serve and have contact with a larger portion of the community. I can definitely see that.

    Annsni, it's rare for me to disagree with you, but there's always a first. I'm calling you out on your comment. I'll never forget when the deacons of a church I was a member of came to my house when I missed a Sunday. I'd gone a few towns over for some personal reasons and while there, attended services that Sunday at my old church. They came and called me a wh*** for attending another church where I wasn't a member. I cannot see the good in equating being with another group of believers with "sleeping around." I definitely agree that it can be problematic if one has made a commitment to one church, but certainly not something to be equated in any way, shape, or form with the type of immorality implied.
     
  19. Tom Butler

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    I have to tell you, I'm shaking my head in wonder. I certainly have lived a sheltered church life.

    I understand church shopping. If I were new in town, I would visit several churches before deciding on a church home.

    But church-hopping as some posters have described leaves me incredulous.

    First, incredulous that you folks do it.

    Second, incredulous that you think it's okay.

    Third, incredulous that you not only think it's okay, you're proud of it.

    So sad. I didn't realize I was so out of touch
     
    #19 Tom Butler, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2012
  20. freeatlast

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    Faithfulness is to God not a church. They may be serving God as He so desires them to.
     

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