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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.