Hooray for Christ-chasing church hoppers

Church hoppers get a bad rap. When I google “church hoppers” most of the articles about them are critical. Why do I cheer for Christ-chasing church hoppers?

  1. Christ-chasing church hoppers are spiritually hungry. They have a vision and a desire for something more than church as usual. They’re looking for love, friendship, godliness, acceptance, humility, healing, Christ-centered relationships, an opportunity to use their spiritual gifts, forgiveness, and the presence and power of the living, risen Jesus. They long to see a mighty move of God.
  2. Christ chasing church hoppers hold on to hope. They don’t settle for the status quo, but keep their hopes up that they will be a part of a body of believers who will be open and honest before the living God. While they are regularly attending a particular church they continually hope that a move of God will break out there. Sometimes, in order to keep their hope and spiritual hunger from being quenched, they feel compelled to move on.
  3. Christ-chasing church hoppers are courageous. Because they are not the spiritually silent type, but boldly share their vision with others, they are often labeled “rebellious” and accused of being unwilling to “submit.” Sometimes pastors try to manipulate them and/or force them into silence and compliance. Even under pressure Christ-chasing church hoppers bravely stand up for what they believe, often until they feel they have no other option but to leave.
  4. Christ-chasing church hoppers carry God’s fire. Often times, when they start attending a church, they will bring a spark of spiritual awakening. Unfortunately, however, the leadership sometimes sees this as a threat to their authority and they work to contain and control the new person or family.
  5. Christ-chasing church hoppers obey the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:5 tells Christ-followers to “turn away” from powerless forms of godliness — religion that doesn’t set people free.
  6. Christ-chasing church hoppers sometimes become “Dones.” (Dones are Christ-followers who have given up on church.) Rather than lose their passion for God, Christ-chasing church hoppers would rather stay at home and seek God on their on than have their spiritual fire put out.
  7. Christ-chasing church hoppers are going beyond church as usual by developing fresh, creative ways of meeting together. Dones often meet in “house churches” and/or “organic churches” where they break out of the mold of traditional church. Many Dones are discovering the Greek New Testament concept of ekklesia based on 1 Corinthians 14:26, where instead of having a dominating leader, everyday people are free to speak out as they feel led by the Spirit.
  8. Christ-chasing church hoppers are not content to settle for the stump of powerless religion, no matter how old it is, how big it is, how impressive it is, or how intimidating it is. They won’t give up until they encounter present-day spiritual life surging through a body of believers.

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
This entry was posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, 2 Timothy 3:5, Beyond Church, body of Christ, bored in church, Christ in you the hope of glory, church refugees, ekklesia, forsake not the assembly, fresh expressions, God chasers, having a form of godliness but denying the power, hope, house church, risen, simple church, spiritual awakening, spiritual gifts, spiritual hunger, spirituality, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Hooray for Christ-chasing church hoppers

  1. grammatteus says:

    Thank you so much. This times in perfectly with the latest chapter in my book on contentment: Contentment with church!

    I started out writing the chapter almost condemning ‘church-hoppers’ and stating that one needs to be planted in a community to function and grow, THEN my wife and I both felt a hunger to leave our church where I had been worship co-ordinator almost from its inception, and just head out for a more satisfying place. We both realised we were unhappy, despite having good friends and fellowship there! We found one that suits us so much more, last November, and so I started rewriting the chapter, exploring just WHEN or WHY one might leave a church. I have now gone to practically the opposite conclusion; there is a new term bandied about: spiritual abuse. It seems to go with the territory in a denomination so hell-bent (forgive ironic pun) on ‘maintaining a standard’ or ‘holding onto the truth’ that some people find themselves bullied or put down for being a Questioning Thomas. Since I believe passionately in listening to the individual conscience, which is guided by the Holy Spirit within the true believer, such behaviour really IS only a ‘form of godliness’ (never thought THAT verse would reveal that aspect to me!). I know a few ‘dones’ via the internet, and I have perceived their faith is still there! I am TOTALLY for fellowship and sharing, and I shall never become a ‘done’ simply because I know God isn’t done with me yet, and as long as I realise that churches will always be imperfect, I can live with it.

    For me, the clincher came when I returned to 3 John. That was a letter to his friend Gaius, who had been usurped by an intruder to his church, who had turned everyone against Gaius, and would not even welcome the apostles. John’s advice to Gaius was not to ‘go find somewhere else’ (which was very hard to do in 1st century Europe!) or to go back and get into a theological war with the usurper. No, John just says he will do his best to come and see him. In our 21st century, words of encouragement, and even fellowship, can be gleaned across the wavelengths of the broadband church!

    Though I will still encourage any believer to find concrete fellowship in some form. That may be meeting a couple of friends in their living room – it’s still church!

    • Steve Simms says:

      Beautiful comment! Thanks for allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you as you write and think things through. Check out my book “Beyond Church” at http://amzn.to/1qDrcXo

      • grammatteus says:

        Thanks. I have added it to my Amazon wish list, since I have a fair few books still ‘on the go’ and I need to curb my addiction! Each time I add to my four bookcases, by having to place one on top of other books, my wife gets more worried… and nagging. I will get around to it soon. 🙂

        And maybe by then I’ll have a fifth bookcase.

  2. Pingback: HOORAY FOR CHRIST-CHASING CHURCH HOPPERS | FrankColeman.com

  3. Heather G says:

    I agree mostly – there is a time to be committed to a group of people, but there are also valid and good reasons to leave and look for others. Towards that end, I agree with you in this post:

    https://allthingsareyours.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/a-defense-of-church-consumerism/

  4. Kelly Wood says:

    I feel like I am speechless after reading this article! Steve, you completely described my husband to the core…I didn’t realize this is what has been happening the last 5 years for us…but nowhere (church) feels like home (for the reasons you perfectly articulated). This can be a very lonely place for people who deeply long for more. This article brings me peace and helps put my husbands desires into focus. I really appreciate this article so much. Thank you.

  5. Deborah says:

    There are a lot of ‘dones’ out there for a lot of different reasons. For those interested in a perspective outside the usual church experience, I suggest Wayne Jacobsen’s podcast, The God Journey.

  6. Lisa says:

    Thanks Steve! I totally can relate to being in a church where I felt like saying so much, but could not because I was a sheep tethered to a pew, and yes, it did stink. Since when did Jesus tell anybody they had to have a doctorate, or be ordained by man to speak! Were not some of the disciple’s fishermen? Double Entendre 🙂 Jesus said: “The Holy Spirit will lead and guide you into all truth.” Jesus has “chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” Also, Jesus tells us “not to be a respecter of persons.” Religion without relationship can produce a pharisee, (self righteous), but a relationship with Jesus will produce something out of this world!

    James 2: 1-4
    Acts: 10:34
    1 Corinthians: 1:27

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