Is it okay to Church Jump?
After talking with a large group of people the question came to my attention and this question was is it okay to church jump? If it is okay what makes it okay? If it is not okay what makes it incorrect to church jump? These are the questions that I will be trying to answer in this blog today. Hopefully through this I will give you the tools and information that will allow you to make your own decisions, on if this is wrong or okay during certain circumstances.
I have been reading the book called Christian Perspectives on Sociology by Stephen A Grunlan, in this book he has a chapter that speaks on some specifics of Religion and uses some terms that I am going to bring up to help me explain the topic further.
One of the words that he uses is organizational differences in this he speaks about how that there are differences between the different ethnic groups. For me I was thinking about the different denominations and how they practice and all have defining factors about what makes them different. To think on this point even more you have different ethnic churches. A black church most definitely worships a lot differently then a white church, which I have experienced first hand. Not saying one is better than another just simple that the worship styles are drastically different.
In the sense of church hopping this would deal with the concept of going different places because of the different aspects each place has to offer. Some of the different things may be worship or other aspects that churches have to offer that are different from one another.
Another term I would like to bring up is when he speaks on the topic of comfort and challenge dilemma. He goes on to speak about the different things that people prefer when they are looking for a church or the pastor that leads the church. Like if the pastor challenges the congregation to do things and about things that are going on in the community of the church. Or the flip side would be that he never challenges the congregation and every Sunday is all warm and fuzzy with no real conviction of what people are doing wrong.
I thought this point was very in contact with what I am writing about because some of the reasons some one may want to try out different churches may be due to how the pastor leads the congregation. If someone feels like they are not being fed is it okay to try something else out that would feed you in the word and the truth of the gospel? This is the next question that I will try and address.
The Bible says in Proverbs 11:14 that “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.” This hits on the fact that a church needs good leadership and if they do not have this then they will fail just like any other organization. Of course God leads all but the pastor needs to be connected with God and searching for him and what he wants the pastor to teach.
Another passage that I will bring up is Hebrews 10:25 which states that “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” This is not speaking on the thought of if it okay to change churches but it is speaking on how important it is to have fellowship with other believers. Which for me is something that you need to consider in this thinking as well, if the people that you are fellowshipping with are helping you grow as well. People in the church need to be encouraging others and pushing others to become closer and more in touch with God. So not only is the pastor in charge of the church but all of those who go their have a responsibility to make sure everyone is being fed the word and others are growing in their walks with the Lord.
Some of the thoughts that would make this okay would be that your pastor is not a godly man or women, or that you are not being fed the word their. Some more factors would be that if your kids were not being taught the Bible. It is the parent’s responsibility to raise their kids so sometimes making the best choice for your kids is the best choice. I think another would be that if your not feeling like your growing at all, and the reason you are not growing is because your church is not allowing for the growth to happen. The last thing that I could think of would be if you feel that you or your family is under attack in some way and no longer feel safe in the church, this could be physically, mentally, or even the core values of your faith.
Saying these reasons I do believe that there are right and wrong ways to leave a church that you have committed to. Before you leave you need to have a talk with some of the leaders of the church and share your concerns and hear their opinions. Sometimes you may realize that you are hindering your own growth and not others. If they agree with some of the issues that are happening they may be willing to look at different options because if they are true followers and truly want the church to grow then they also want the church to be feeding its people. If they hear it is not I am sure that they will want to help change the issues. If they are not willing then you have a decision to make.
If you go to the council and they decide that they are not going to change what you feel is hindering you then you may decide you need to leave the church. There is also a right way to do this, you need to be honest and talk to the council and share you heart and tell them why you are leaving. They do not have to agree with your decision but it is the right thing to do before leaving the church. The only thing that would not allow this to be just is if you feel that you or your family feels under attack in any way.
How to correctly find a new church, you first need to take your time and do your studying. Another big factor in this is you need to really nail down what you are looking for in a church and to make sure that you know the features a good church all contain. This will allow you to know if a church is right or not for you when looking at new choices in the different churches.
When going to the new churches it is very important to be honest and up front with exactly what you are doing. Looking for new churches cannot be window-shopping and just passing through it has to be done with a lot of consideration because it is somewhere that you trust with you and your families’ thoughts and beliefs. It is the place that should be feeding you spiritually.
In Acts 2:42–47 it speaks on the believers developing a community of believers. It goes on to talk about things that a church or a community should have like teaching, fellowship, and prayer. This passage talks about how these people shared everything and they even shared meals with one another. This was before the term and thought of church and the focus was on what a church came from which was a community of believers who shared everything and worship together. Some of the other things in this passage are the leadership, church unity, and even the mission of the church itself. I think that this passage is great outline in what people should look for when they are looking for a new church for them and their family to go to.
In conclusion it is not okay to church jump, I believe that it is okay to leave a church for some of the reasons that I brought up in some of my earlier paragraphs. One of the biggest reasons would be if someone is attacking your faith or attacking you or your family. If these things are happening there is a right and a wrong way to go about looking for a new church or community to join. When looking for a new church it is important to know exactly what you need to look for, which I think a lot of these things can be found in the passage of Acts 2:42–47 which speaks on the believers coming together to form a community. My final thought would be to make sure you are being fed spiritually and to have good fellowship as a community in God these things will make you grow in Christ.