Reprinted with permission from Faithworks

My Sunday mornings have become a spiritual buffet. I begin withbreakfast at a small Mennonite house church, followed by worship and sharingtime. I skip out halfway through the service to fill a different craving ata worship service located under an interstate highway overpass. I'm not proud of the fact that I'm a church hopper. I'm a devout driftercommitted to nothing.

Why do I church hop? A hunger for something deeper than filling apew--I want to be filled. I struggle to get my needs met at one serviceand one church. I'm a product of a generation that has been told they canhave it their way and accursed with short attention spans. Church shouldcater to me. I'll fill my plate where my craving of the moment is satisfied.

I attempt to fill my hunger for intimacy at Hope Fellowship, aMennonite congregation with less than 20 members. The church is a tight-knitgroup of families drawn together to create a community through belief. Ienjoy observing the family interactions and relationships created throughsharing God.

I'm uncommitted to the church because I'm different. I'm at a weirdin-between stage--not one of the kids but not married with kids. I'mmisunderstood; my desire is to build a career, not a family at this point.

I came here as a Sunday morning refugee from a nontraditional church seeking what I needed and could not find.At Church Under the Bridge, traffic roars overhead at 70 mph. There are foreign smellsand nobody wears "church clothes." The 200 people in attendance, many ofthem poor, sit on folding chairs. But when you shut out the distractions, God is present.

In my eyes, this church resembled thekingdom of God. People of every color, income and education are broughttogether. It was the place where I became a Christian. It seemed real, aplace where the gospel was lived out. My church hopping began here. SlowlyI became desensitized to the poverty and then overwhelmed when I was notsure how to approach it. It all became a novelty to me, a place where Icould stand at a distance.

Church hopping has consequences. It has isolated me and given me guilt fromlack of commitment to any single body. I've created a criticalview of church that has made me judgmental--I like this, I don't likethat. I've have become a Sunday morning anthropologist, seeking to watchsomething different when it all begins to look familiar. Hopefully, I'll settle down some day.

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