'Church hopping' more popular in Minn., across US


#1

Christians have traditionally worshipped at the same church week to week, but churchgoers are beginning to show less loyalty in their quest to meet their spiritual needs, said Scott Thumma, a researcher at the Hartford Institute for Religious Research in Hartford, Conn.

“I think that whole consumer and individualistic impulse in our society has also lapsed over into our religious life,” he said. “Denominational identities still exist and people still think of the differences. But in fact … that is breaking down, the power of that identity to shape the person.”

Evangelical Christians tend to be particularly active church hoppers, Thumma said, but mainline Protestants and Catholics do so, too.

More…
duluthnewstribune.com/event/apArticle/id/DA010K1O0/


#2

I think this shows our lack of faith in God. We jumped from our first parish due to poor homilies and over lack of Catholicity. Looking back, I believe we should have stayed and prayed for change.
God works with our mistakes though. We will never again leave a parish due to a priest, but instead pray for him.


#3

I don’t know that this shows a lack of faith in God. I think there are many people who are looking for the best way to express their faith in God. I, too, have worshipped in many different settings but have found that, for me, true worship of a very present Lord is within the Catholic Church. I may not always be moved by the homily and may be distracted by the music–but it is only in this Church where I find Christ present and coming to me at each liturgy through the Eucharist.

Ultimately, I find that worship has to be less about us and more about Him. It also has to be less about emotion and more about devotion.


#4

I have friends and relatives who church hop. Some of them are very pushy in their beliefs and also very antiCatholic. And yet very often they skip church on Sundays and also switch churches on a regular basis. I may be a satanic Catholic but at least I know where and when I am going.

A coworker spent several years inviting me to his church “where he is meeting the real Jesus.” But every time he invited me it was to a different church. Now he goes nowhere. So in the end who was really wrong?

The witness of them has been very poor.

But, yes, I do know some very good Protestant Christians and we often work together for various charitable causes.


#5

I believe it, but it’s funny because my family is the opposite no matter what happens. :shrug:


#6

“I think that whole consumer and individualistic impulse in our society has also lapsed over into our religious life,”

Religious scholars also note that church hoppers are less likely to volunteer or donate time or money.

These two snippets from the article are interestingly interrelated. They both speak to an attitude of “what’s in it for me” without the commensurate sense of responsibility to contribute.

Such “pick and choose” attitudes preclude any sort of serious catechesis, bible study, or delving into what it truly means to be a person of faith. There is simply no continuity or real commitment in such things.
Alas - this is what must be expected from the rejection of “authoritative Church” and the embracing of the “private interpretation” doctrine espoused for so long by the children of the Protestant reformation.

Peace
James


#7

Interesting post…as I’ve watched the EWTN show “The Journey Home”, I’ve come to understand how people find a faith that fits their needs, rather than conforming their lives to live by their faith. I obviously don’t agree with that…but I do have a ‘weakness’ in terms of the kind of Catholic Church I need…lol.

I grew up attending a beautiful (and quire large) gothic-style church about 20 minutes from where I lived. Probably passed 5 Catholic Churches on our way to mass each week…anyway they closed that church and my wife and I started attending a new church closer to home but it was a more modern design. I hated it…lol. No majestic organ music, no murals on the ceilings etc…So even though my 2 boys both had their first communions at the new church, I have been driving 15 minutes to Our Lady of Assumption Church here in Windsor, Ontario, Canada…which reminds me of my old church. And I admit I’ve been to about 3 other places in the meantime lol. The difference is I’m not looking for a difference service, I just want to be inspired by my surroundings and connect with the music etc.


#8

I heard a Protestant pastor once refer to these types of people as “spiritually homeless”. They hop from spiritual soup kitchen to spiritual soup kitchen.
When God has a banquet waiting for them in the Catholic Church.


#9

Our church is really good at capturing these poor wanderers - I should know, I was one!

In the narthex we have a guest book, and little grab-bags for guests to take home. It has the phone numbers of just about everybody, a schedule, a welcome letter, a wood cross, and a book on the next steps to take.

We have greeters that know everybody, and when someone new pops in, we welcome them and give them a place to sit in the pews next to an older member of the church. When communion time comes, the older member will sit with them so they don’t feel awkward not receiving.

When service ends, our pastor waits in the narthex to greet everybody who exits - he knows the membership by name (When he distributes the body of Christ, he does with each members name “Ben, body of christ broken for you.”) He’ll know who is a guest, and will give them a bit more attention and welcome them.

We have a committee that will follow up with our guests and encourage them. About a third of them enter our training, and about half of those will become members. In all about 1/8 of the people that wander into our church will become active members. All of them will at least have a better appreciation and a larger appetite for God’s love.

I say all of this not to brag, but in the hope that someone good Catholic reading this will take away some ideas and be able to grab some of those “church hoppers” and being them to Christ.


#10

I’m a very devout parish hopper in my quest to find a parish that doesn’t feel like a retirement community.


#11

That’s not necessary.


#12

Here’s a list a friend of CentralFlJames, apparently an evangelical, created his own 35 point ‘questionnaire’ for ‘choosing’ a church.
Called the "Church-Hopper’s Handbook.:smiley:

Church Beliefs and/or Statement-of-Faith (SOF)

  1. What translation of the Bible does your church use and do you believe it is the only translation/transliteration inspired by the Holy Spirit?

  2. Does your church believe that the Bible, in its original manuscripts (which are all lost), is the inerrant Word of God?

  3. How does your church handle the teaching of Mark 16:9-20?

  4. Does your church teach God’s Word in an expositional manor?

  5. Does your church believe/teach in the Trinity (i.e., the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) are one yet co-equal as the God head which was, is, and will always be eternal)?

  6. Does your church believe/teach that Jesus is the only way to salvation and getting into heaven?

  7. Does your church believe/teach that “Once Saved, Always Saved”?

  8. Does your church believe/teach that water baptism is required for salvation; and if so, is it by immersion?

  9. Does your church practice baptism of infants and/or baby dedications? If so, is Believers baptism required if baptized as an infant?

  10. What are your churches eschatological beliefs (i.e., End Times)?" Specifically on the rapture (e.g., pre-tribulation) and the millennial kingdom (e.g., pre-millennial)?

  11. Does your church believe/teach in the doctrine of “Election”?

  12. Does your church believe/teach numerology?

  13. Does your church believe/teach in substitutional prayer?

  14. Does your church believe/teach in “binding and loosing” of demons, principalities, warring angles, etc?

  15. Does your church believe/teach that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are still active today?

  16. Does your church believe/teach in an individual prayer language (i.e., the groaning of the Holy Spirit in prayer)?

  17. Does your church believe/teach that healing comes by anointing with oil and laying on of hands in addition to prayer (i.e., it’s a dogmatic formula)?

  18. Does your church believe/teach in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at salvation?

  19. Does your church believe/teach in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (BHS), and do you believe that BHS is at salvation or normally subsequent to salvation?

  20. Does your church believe/teach that the Sabbath must be on a Saturday only?

  21. Does your church restrict children from attending the main service’s teaching to avoid distracting others; if so, to what grade level?

  22. Does your church have and/or require a SOF be signed before one can serve God as a representative of your church (e.g., administration, bible study, Home Group leader)?

  23. Does your church require membership; and if so, what is the purpose and requirements?

  24. How long must you have attended and/or be a member of your church to teach Bible studies in your church?

  25. Does your church have Home Groups and/or Bible study classes?

  26. What is your churches position on Tithing?

  27. What is your churches position on homosexuality?

  28. What is your churches position on ordaining adulators/homosexuals as pastor-teachers?

  29. What is your churches position on women as pastor-teachers/elders?

  30. How often does your church take communion and what are the requirements for one to do so?

  31. How does your church worship (e.g., contemporary music, no instruments just hymns, blend, none, other)?

  32. Does your church do additional ceremonial things not required by the Bible (e.g., knelling before entering the pews)?

  33. How long and what is the make up of one of your services (i.e., order of worship)?

  34. How does your church do an alter call?

  35. Is your church considered a reformed church?

Sidenote, where is CentralFlJames? Haven’t seen him on here for quite a while.


#13

In the narthex we have a guest book, and little grab-bags for guests to take home. It has the phone numbers of just about everybody, a schedule, a welcome letter, a wood cross, and a book on the next steps to take.

We have greeters that know everybody, and when someone new pops in, we welcome them and give them a place to sit in the pews next to an older member of the church. When communion time comes, the older member will sit with them so they don’t feel awkward not receiving.

When service ends, our pastor waits in the narthex to greet everybody who exits - he knows the membership by name (When he distributes the body of Christ, he does with each members name “Ben, body of christ broken for you.”) He’ll know who is a guest, and will give them a bit more attention and welcome them.

We have a committee that will follow up with our guests and encourage them. About a third of them enter our training, and about half of those will become members. In all about 1/8 of the people that wander into our church will become active members. All of them will at least have a better appreciation and a larger appetite for God’s love.

I say all of this not to brag, but in the hope that someone good Catholic reading this will take away some ideas and be able to grab some of those “church hoppers” and being them to Christ.

This is a really nice way to educate a visitor without being overbearing. I just visited the CC in my town for the first time last Sunday I felt like I had walked in to a members only club. Sorry I cant seem to parse out the quote I want to respond to.


#14

I think this shows our lack of faith in God

i dont believe it shows a lack of faith, if you do not feel that the church you are attending in following scripture you should hop away til you find one that does


#15

I don’t know if it shows a lack of faith in God. But a lack of faith in the type of God we want. Too many want a sugar daddy God who grants all our wishes. And then would we be satisfied if He did?


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