Young Adults and Church Hopping

Benjamin Baker comments on the phenomenon of young adult “church hopping” in the Adventist Review.

Here are his reasons why you shouldn’t. What do you think? (I’d like to see some Scripture texts that support point 5).

1. Relationships not developed:  Church hopping does not foster relationships because the hopper is not consistently around to know and be known.  She simply sees and is occasionally seen.  Going to one church, however, provides an opportunity to know fellow members on a personal and consistent level.

2. No accountability:  Hoppers are not spiritually accountable to anyone.  They are spiritual desperadoes, wandering from town to town, only occasionally learning someone’s name.  But when people get involved in a congregation, others can lovingly monitor their spiritual state.

3. Spiritual gifts not maximized:  When one church hops, their spiritual gifts are rarely available to a congregation.  In fact, no one ever knows them well enough to discover their talents.  What could be a powerful tool in the hands of God and the church is often unused.  Thus the capacity for service shrinks.  But a person in a church family finds ministries to be involved in and can fully utilize his talents.

4. Mate harder to find:  Believe it or not, a hopper has a harder time finding a mate than a settler.  When one settles they can see, meet, and get to know potential prospects.  They can also glimpse the hoppers who rotate to their church.  Hoppers miss out because they move too fast.

5. Jesus did not hop:  Jerusalem probably provided the opportunity to hop, but Jesus probably did not do it.  Jesus likely was at the service shortly before it started, bringing others with him, and ready to help out anyway He could.  He knew others in the congregation and worshipped with them each Sabbath.  After church they ate together, Jesus conversing with whoever wanted to talk.

About A Allan Martin, PhD

Jeremiah 24/7
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5 Responses to Young Adults and Church Hopping

  1. Mithun says:

    I would agree with points 1-4. Point 5 seems tenuous, and I can’t think of any Scriptural support.

    But point 1 is the main point for me. I Church hopped by first year or two of college, and never got “plugged in” to a Church in Houston. The summer following my second year I was in Washington DC, and I made a commitment not to hop, and the second Church I went to I stuck with the rest of the summer. It was a great experience, I believe I was able to both draw and contribute more with that Church in three months that I was with the other Churches I hopped in two years.

    The Church is a community. It is a family. It should be a place where you are able to train those younger than you and learn from those older. And if you don’t have a church as your community, you’re bound to find your community elsewhere, and that has led to some of the biggest mistakes I made during my college years. Find a Church you love, and stick with it. If you can’t find one, stick with a Church, and love it.

  2. Kafo says:

    Hold up people, let us be real. We are making some pretty WILD assumptions here. Are we saying that if you go to church regularly and are NOT a hopper that you will have relationship at church, find a spouse and accountability partner and use your spirtual gifts?

    Is that what we saying?

    In an ideal world, yes, this would be what the church offers young adults but how many times have you STAYED at a church and still DONE NOTHING. How many years did you cousin spend at his church and still have a problem with internet porn?

    I know a couple of people who are not dedicated to a local church and are more active than I am in ministry. I also know others who have spiritual mentors that they talk to via the phone and internet, people who care and call them and keep them accountable, so please let us stop painting a rosy picture.

    It sounds like the whole sex agrument again. We tell young people don’t have sex because you will feel like crap afterwards or you will get an STD but then they don’t feel like crap and don’t contract HIV so they continue. Why don’t we just tell them the truth? and not try and scare them into submission. Mercy.

    Now don’t get mii wrong I am anti-church hopping but this article makes it seem like being committed to a church is a rosy street. I know a couple of people who were committed to a local church and have been burned so badly that they’ve become cynical about being an Adventist in any way.

    What is my point, let’s be real and not give the sex agrument for church hopping, please don’t try and persuaded my cousin who is gung ho on being married that she should become committed to find a husband, mercy, first of all i thought God provides the mate and we shouldn’t be looking and then second of all if that is her primary reason to find a husband do you really think that she will still be committed if she doesnt?

    Finally, (i need to stop typing) JESUS no please do not tell mii that HE DID NOT CHURCH HOP, the synagogue of 2000 years ago is nothing like our churches today, am I the only person that recalls him going to the synagogue and almost being stoned? am i the only person that remember him and the disciples leaving the synagogue and going to eat grain and healing on the sabbath. How many months did Jesus spend in Jerusalem, how many churches were there? While were at it, Jesus was in Capernum and then he went to Galilee and then he left went back home to Nazareth, so yeah He hopped, mercy what Christ did was the equivalent to getting on a plane and going to a different church in a different division every month.

    Maybe we should say that women should be segregated with children from the men because that is what happened in the church that Jesus went to so please do not pull some unbiblical guilty stance just to once again make us feel guilty to stay.

    Okay I’ll stop
    But yeah don’t church hop.

  3. Warrior says:

    Right on Kafo!

    That’s such a HUGE generalization that Jesus didn’t hop. Totally laughable! What Bible are you reading? He went to a different church almost every single week, from Capernaum to Bethlehem to Jerusalem. He was the personification of a church hopper… just looking at Matthew alone you can tell that proclivity. How do you spread the good news just sitting down in one place?

    Yes he did bring his crew with him, but he rarely stayed in the same location each Sabbath—just cause he knew people in the area, doesn’t mean that he knew them from worship. For all you know, they could have all been travel buddies.

    Matthew: Chapter 8:28…he was in Gadarenes
    Chapter 9: Nazareth
    Chapter 12: Galilee
    Chapter 16: Tyre and Sidon
    Chapter 17: Back to Galilee
    Chapter 18: Judea
    Chapter 20: Jericho
    21: Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem

  4. dbounsa says:

    I think I like this: “Find a Church you love, and stick with it. If you can’t find one, stick with a Church, and love it.”
    Although I like to visit other churches once in a while, I’ve found that I am best able to maximize the opportunity to worship in a place where I can call “my” own church. I can invite friends, coworkers… It also affords me the ability to serve; which is pretty much impossible when you only show up at any given church perhaps quarterly.
    That said, I feel no need to make a general, even untrue statement about Jesus’ worship habits. He was clearly a church-hopper if there ever was one! Point 5 – absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary. #4 can be easily proved wrong by evaluation of most churches’. There’s a large percentage of people who are committed, regular members of their congregations yet are still single and very much in search of mates.
    Check your facts!

  5. aymeigh says:

    I think the main points that is trying to be expressed here is 1) don’t church hop simply because your each and every need isn’t instantly satisfied at one church; 2) Some church shopping might be necessary at first, but then you gotta commit; and 3) don’t jump to conclusions.

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