Why do people "church hop"?

Why in your opinion do people “church hop”?

I think it is partly due to our pluralistic, entertainment-centered, restless consumer culture. So many flavors of religion, why not try them all? At the same time, I think many people are genuinely searching for truth or an experience of God. Maybe they feel their needs aren’t being met at one place. Maybe they have family or friends in different churches (Does that count as ‘hopping’?). Perhaps they wish to avoid commitment and responsibility. Or perhaps they are like Bono from U2 and “still haven’t found what they’re looking for.”

So many reasons.
They are looking for a home, a place to feel welcome.
A place to assert their influence.
A place that agrees with their viewpoint.

I have a friend who became UCC after hopping around.
The reason? When he walked into church a man said “come and sit by me”. And that’s where he stayed. No other church did that.

Sometimes, people leave local churches in which they’ve been in for decades due to internal fighting or controversy. They then look for a new church, but do not find any place that feels like the place God wants them, so they keep looking.

If you mean “parish hop,” that is, change Catholic parishes, could be due to homilies not feeding them, absence of ministries in which to become involved, liturgical distractions that interfere with their worship, music or lack of it, personality of the priest, even aesthetics of the church building itself - which I’ve seen go both ways (church too ornate / old fashioned, or too stark and modern).

1.) Hurt feelings…


2.) Their denomination caving into the pressure of this society and deciding to drown themselves in immorality under the guise of “tolerance”.

Sometimes it’s theological but the first 2 seem to be the major reasons for it

On the Catholic side I don’t know. Maybe a priest was unruly to somebody

Some people prefer a traditional service over a contemporary one.

Before I answer, do you mean Parish Hop within a denomination or actual denomination hopping?

Good answer. I’ve jumped parish a couple of times, long ago, for such reasons. One parish where the priest’s homilies tended to go on about how dreary life is, and another which was a bit too progressive/modern and uninspiring at the same time.

Wrong number? :smiley:

Genuinely, I think it is about the thirst of finding the truth. And if that is so, it means to say that no churches are prefect.

However, practical reasons are not always like that. It could be due to a host of factors and not less among them are due to human failing in the church that causes one to leave or due to one’s own lifestyle that is not compatible with the church’s teaching, for example, where divorce is not allowed, thus one would find acceptance in a church that allows it.

There are many reasons one would move from one church to another:
1: Change in doctrinal stance.
2: Unwanted drama interfering with worship.
3: Friendliness in one church lacking in one’s home church.
4: Distance and convenience sometimes plays a role.
5: Ostracism from one’s home church
6: Unwanted liturgical/ doctrinal changes made in a certain denomination.
7: Excessive requests for money that morph into demands.
8: Excessive relativism that states it matters not where you pray, as long as you pray.

People tend to drift in today’s society and with people enjoying freedom of worship, they are free also to change their place ( and/ or denomination) of worship.

Because they don’t have a concept of tradition, and consequently they also don’t have any sense of loyalty to a particular church. It becomes more about whether they like the church and agree with its interpretation of the Bible. A lot of it comes down to the personality of the pastor and the people.

As a Catholic I would say it is a very serious decision to leave one church for another, particularly if you are coming from an apostolic church like the Orthodox Church or Catholic Church. Faithfulness is an important virtue, and you should always be slow to change churches. Bad priests and people aren’t a good excuse. We are expected to get past our disagreements with the people of our church just like we have to get past the disagreements with our family members.

I can’t change who my brothers and sisters are. I must find a way to get along with them, and that is a good thing. It will make me a better person.

You are robbing God by not tithing the full amount!!!

Not sure how many times I heard that, but it never became any less disgusting or hypocritical to me. We were under the law when it was convenient to certain pastors :mad: But any other time we are free from the law in Christ, smh.

To be fair, tithing was before the law. Abraham gave a tenth to Melchizedek.

Yeah, that’s the escape they use.

Mandatory 10% not mentioned anywhere in NT at all.

10% isn’t mandatory according to the Church. It may have been in the OT but not now.

It can also go the opposite way too. OVER friendliness can also cause some to leave if people feel they are being put upon. Not everyone wants to be love bombed every time they walk in to worship.

It was my experience in one protestant church in particular that it was mandatory. Not that they demanded to see your tax returns or anything, but instead beat the topic to death with countless guilt trips.

I hear the Orthodox are very demanding on this as well

St Paul gave one of the reasons why some might engage in such behavior:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

As mentioned by my earlier the answer depends on what you mean by “church hop”. If you’re referring to changing church/parish within a denomination, the reasons can vary. It may be they no longer like the style of preaching/homily at their current church/parish. It could be that there has been a change in the congregation they no longer feel comfortable with. It would be they had an experience at another parish/church that drew them to that one. Could be something as simple as they’ve moved and this new parish is closer. There are more reasons I can think of but suffice it to say there are many reasons someone would parish/church hop.

If you’re referring to denomination/Church hopping, the reasons can overlap, or be quite different. It could be they have had long standing theological/moral differences of opinion with the Church/denomination they’re a member of and they decide they can no longer be a member of a Church they feel is wrong on those theological/moral issues. It could be the denomination changed in some way they object to. It could be they’re no longer convinced the Church/denomination they’re a member of is teaching the truths of Christ. It could be their own understanding of what the truths of Christ are has changed and is no longer compatible with their Church/denomination. It could be that the denomination they’re a member of is not even that important to them (I’ve seen this one personally with a family member) and they simply jump Churches as they move, etc…

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