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Attending Different Churches

Attending Different Churches

Question: “What does the Bible say about church-hopping?”

Answer: Technically, the Bible does not address the issue of church-hopping. The early church consisted of small groups of Christians meeting in homes or in public places. There is no indication in Scripture that towns or cities had more than one group of believers meeting there. So church-hopping is relatively new. However, the author of Hebrews does address the issue of church attendance. In Hebrews 10:25 we read, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Sometimes people church-hop to avoid getting too deeply involved with any one congregation, but that defeats the purpose of the body of Christ which is, as Hebrews notes, to “encourage one another.” We can’t encourage those we don’t spend time getting to know, nor can we be encouraged by other Christians if they are essentially strangers to us.

In addition, the church is where the members of the body of Christ exercise their spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-81 Corinthians 12:4-111 Peter 4:10-11), given by the Spirit “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). When Christians spend only minimal time with other Christians, as is the inevitable result of church-hopping, there is little or no opportunity to exercise their gifts. As the writer to the Hebrews notes, meeting together provides the opportunity for us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24), a practice that is nearly impossible for the church-hopper. Conversely, attending a different church each week limits our accountability to the leadership of any one church and our ability to confess our sins to one another and seek prayer for our spiritual edification (James 5:16). Sadly, this is the very reason many people do church-hop—to avoid being held accountable for their lifestyle.

There is no doubt that it is wise to be selective in which church body we choose to attend. This may require attending different churches for a while so that we can best decide which church home God may be calling us to. The goal is to find a church that teaches that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and affirms all of theessentials of the Christian faith. This may take some time and might technically be called church-hopping. However, after having found a solid church, we must commit to remaining there.

‘Wherever the river flows, life will flourish ...’ (Ezekiel 47:9)

Potter's House Church Sheffield is a 'family on mission together' transforming networks, neighbourhoods and nations one life at a time. We are a Christian church committed to serving the city of Sheffield and part of a growing sphere of churches in the East Midlands and beyond!