LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Open Letter to a Church Hopper

Kelly Adkins was a dear friend many years ago when she lived in God's country (i.e. Granger) with her husband, Mike. About 5 years ago, they started Grace Fellowship in Orlando, a church that is growing and thriving.

I enjoy reading Kelly's words of wisdom, and loved this open letter she wrote to a church hopper...

Dearest Career Church Hopper:

I met you again on Wednesday, the same person smiling at me through a different face, telling me that you've been shopping for churches for months now, and that darn it, you "just can't find one (you) like." The music's too rocky at this one, you said; the preacher too funny at that one. The latest one might make the cut, though: you'd had the pastor and his wife over the previous evening for a little "dinner audition" -- your words, not mine -- and he said things that made you feel good and comfortable, things that you already agree with, so you're thinking about sticking around. At the very least, you could get your teaching from this church and your worship from that one.

I'm sure we'll run into each other again, but before we do, I'd like to suggest some things you could perhaps think about before you move on to the next church, as I'm sure you will, whether this weekend or next year:

  • Christ didn't bleed for the Church so you could treat your search for one like an episode of Survivor, deciding who to vote off the island this week.
  • The Church was not commissioned by Christ to meet your needs. You ARE the Church, and you've been commissioned to meet the needs of the world.
  • Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25). Quit treating his bride like a Jesus buffet where you can pick and choose what you like, hedging your bets against the pain and sacrifice of making a commitment.
  • Per scripture's instructions to use your gifts in service to the Body of Christ -- and its lack of instruction to search for a church that scratches you where you itch -- you might want to consider what the Church you're visiting needs from you, rather than the other way around.
  • If you only want to hear things you already know and agree with, save your Sundays and talk to yourself in the bathroom mirror.

Sincerely,
The Preacher's Wife

Read more of Kelly's thoughts here.