Sunday, February 21, 2010

Church Hoppers --Quit Dating the Church!

If you want to have the kind of a church
Like the kind of a church you like,
You needn't slip your clothes in a grip
And start on a long, long hike.
You'll only find what you left behind,
For there's nothing really new.
It's a knock at yourself when you knock your church;
It isn't the church--it's you.

When everything seems to be going wrong,
And trouble seems everywhere brewing;
Just take a look at yourself and say,
"What's the use of being blue?"
Are you doing your "bit" to make things "hit"?
It isn't the church--it's you.

It's really strange sometimes, don't you know,
That things go as well as they do,
When we think of the little--the very small mite--
We add to the work of the few.
We sit, and stand round, and complain of what's done,
And do very little but fuss.
Are we bearing our share of the burdens to bear?
It isn't the church--it's us.

So, if you want to have the kind of church
Like the kind of a church you like,
Put off your guile, and put on your best smile,
And hike, my brother, just hike,
To the work in hand that has to be done--
The work of saving a few.
It isn't the church that is wrong, my boy;
It isn't the church--it's you.


  1. Very nice, what does this come from?

  2. Bradley,

    I don't know where it came from. Dr. de Witt pointed me to it years ago. It is so true, esp. in Jackson, MS --church hopping central.

    I did an "Ask the Pastor last night." The intrepid Todd Barrett had asked something like "If we as Americans, hop from church to church, is that somewhat like serial monogamy?" I gave him an answer that he would appreciate, "Yes. Next question."

    Sad to see it happen. Spiritual immaturity always looks for greener pastures.

    Or maybe it's just Monday!

  3. According to your view then, once you choose a church, you should stick to a church and work to make it better from the inside.

    In your view then, for what reason should a family leave a church? How should they go about making that decision?

    It is not that I am leaving, or even thinking about it. I am just curious as to your thoughts on the subject.

  4. Paul,

    Let me say it this way. I know there are legitimate reasons for people to break fellowship.

    Most of the people I have seen break fellowship have not done it for anything even approximating legitimate reasons.

  5. Or in the words of the inimitable Professor of Church History @ Westminster Philly, Carl Trueman:

  6. Wow, Carl Trueman nailed it. I was going to ask if you thought that I should still be sitting in a heretical Charismatic church, but now I can see the point behind this... If you go back to that blog and look to the right under Recent Posts and read the article "Indecent Exposure", he has some very interesting points about social networking that I found to be quite apropos to our lives in this present culture (though possibly not apropos to this particular topic)...

  7. I have been a member of Trinity for 29+ years. During those years we have been under the teaching of 4 pastors...all different and special in their own way. We have had the benefit of growing spiritually, through good times and bad. We have experienced times when we even wondered if God was leading us to "look elsewhere". We have been encouraged, supported, even hurt at times. We have seen good friends come and go...some for "good" reasons and some we still don't understand. However, we have also seen The Holy Spirit's work in those moves as so many of those individuals/couples were "transplanted" to grow matter what the reasons had initially been...and have taken root and produced fruit. We experienced lots of hurt and doubt when some of these good friends would leave, and at times, we even judged motives without really finding out and understanding why. We believe we have also seen His work in the areas of "hurt" we may have experienced-to the benefit of ourselves individually and to the body as a whole... and so God's plan goes on regardless of how our choices may seem at the moment. I don't profess to know it all, by any stretch of the imagination; however, one thing we have learned is that even when it looks like to us it may be "church hopping" or whatever, we must continue to pray for these dear ones, as well as for ourselves, that we do not get sidetracked or mislead by the devil's tricks to confuse the issue. We have remained very close to most of those who left over time, and we have benefited from each other's experiences in the process...not always easy either! As much as it hurts us as members of the body when those we have come to know and love choose to leave, I can only imagine what it feels like to the pastor. Again, I would say be encouraged in the fact that we are where we are for His purposes, and I pray that we would continue to grow and produce wherever we are planted, or "trans-planted", and that we will be able to rejoice in the fruit which is produced on both sides of the fence!!!