Ever heard of “church hopping”?
Most of us at BJU have—it’s usually what we do when we’re freshmen and can’t decide where to go, or we don’t have a ride to the church we chose.
But is this the model we should follow once we have more freedom in choosing a church?
Probably not. While the Bible doesn’t explicitly say to stick to one church, it does command us to be in the habit of going to church. In Hebrews 10, the author instructs believers to go to church consistently, looking toward the day Jesus will return and encouraging one another while we are here on Earth. How better to do this than to find a church and make it our home?
At BJU, we’re encouraged to visit different churches and then decide on one church to attend. Visiting different churches is good because it allows us a chance to find a church that fits our specific beliefs, worship styles and more. Granted, if you’re in college and your ride to church disappears, or even after college if you move, it’s perfectly understandable to spend some time visiting and deciding on a new church to attend. However, once you’ve chosen a church, it’s a good idea to make it your home.
Having a home church like this can help you grow spiritually in many different ways.
First of all, attending one church allows you to have consistency in the sermons you hear. Many pastors preach expository sermons and go through one book of the Bible for sometimes a few years before moving to a new one. Going through a book of the Bible like this allows you to see the bigger picture of the book. If you jump around from church to church, you’re going to miss this opportunity to learn.
Second, attending one church allows you to get involved in ministry more easily than if you move around. Many churches even require you to become a member or associate member of the church before you can work with children, sing in the choir or teach Sunday school. Not only do these ministries provide you with opportunities to serve others, but they also prove to be extremely rewarding for those who do them. You can watch young Christians in the church grow up, and you can help disciple them in Christ.
Lastly, the people in your church become your second family. Seeing these people two, three or more times a week often results in close friendships, especially since you are all learning and growing in Christ together. These are the people who can help you when you’re going through struggles, the people who can pray for you when something bad happens, the ones you can tell exciting news to. These are the people to help keep you accountable if you decide to break a bad habit or start a good one.
If you church hop, the people you go to church with most likely won’t know you well enough to know your story or your struggles. But as a regular attender of one church, your church family will be able to help you. Once you find your church family, you may find it hard to leave. Walking into your church, seeing people you love and respect, and worshipping God with this family—it’s something different than any other feeling you’ll get.