2016-06-30
Reprinted with permission from Faithworks

My Sunday mornings have become a spiritual buffet. I begin with breakfast at a small Mennonite house church, followed by worship and sharing time. I skip out halfway through the service to fill a different craving at a 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 drifter committed to nothing.

Why do I church hop? A hunger for something deeper than filling a pew--I want to be filled. I struggle to get my needs met at one service and one church. I'm a product of a generation that has been told they can have it their way and accursed with short attention spans. Church should cater 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, a Mennonite congregation with less than 20 members. The church is a tight-knit group of families drawn together to create a community through belief. I enjoy observing the family interactions and relationships created through sharing God.

I'm uncommitted to the church because I'm different. I'm at a weird in-between stage--not one of the kids but not married with kids. I'm misunderstood; 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 smells and nobody wears "church clothes." The 200 people in attendance, many of them poor, sit on folding chairs. But when you shut out the distractions, God is present.

In my eyes, this church resembled the kingdom of God. People of every color, income and education are brought together. It was the place where I became a Christian. It seemed real, a place where the gospel was lived out. My church hopping began here. Slowly I became desensitized to the poverty and then overwhelmed when I was not sure how to approach it. It all became a novelty to me, a place where I could stand at a distance.

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


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