Posts Tagged ‘church hopper’

New Church Checklist (How people really judge churches)

July 17, 2008

Deacon: Usher, what do you think people really look for when they’re choosing a new church?

Usher: The real list or the lip-service list?

Deacon: The real one, of course.

Usher: From what I can gather, here’s the list:

1. Kid’s programs (Sunday School, VBS, youth groups, mission trips)

2. Worship quality and preference (contemporary or traditional / AV quality and crew)

3. Daycare

4. Facilities (gym, meeting space, location)

5. Parking

6. Distance from home – driving time?

7. Preaching quality (Is he funny, smart, punctual and non-condemning?)

8. Coffee and fellowship food quality

9. Are the people friendly?

10: Age of people – are they “our generation”?

God’s Perfect Church Planters – Church Hopping #4

July 15, 2008

Now Accepting Applications! (f/ Adam with the FC remix)

1. We’re not looking for church hopping Christians! If you can’t plug in at a church because you haven’t found the perfect church then let me save you some time. We’re not perfect so mark us off of your list. I’m serious!

2. We’re not looking for granola bar Christians! Granola is made up of fruits, nuts and flakes. We’re not interested. We’re trying to reach people that are far from God and to be quite honest we do not want to push them farther away. Weird in the name of God is still weird!

3. We’re not looking for disgruntled Christians! If you are mad at your current or previous pastor/church then please don’t expect us to take your side (or even listen to your side). We have more important things to do then to pacify whiny Christians. Make it right and move on!

4. We’re not looking for trendy Christians! We’re not trying to create a new church fad that attracts all kinds of Christians that are bored with their current churches. We value and respect all kinds of church models and philosophies. If you like getting on board with new church trends then you’ll find yourself in the wrong place!

5. We’re not looking for fix-it Christians! Please don’t come if you feel the need to fix pastors, ministries and churches. You won’t enjoy it here and we won’t enjoy having you. God’s vision for Forward Church is not broken so please take your toolbox somewhere else!

I agree with him!

Check back often as I continue to work out what Forward Church will look and feel like.

Until next time.


Usher; Hey Deak, it’s the perfect church – they don’t need anyone who isn’t just like them!

Deacon: What is “just like them”

Usher: Don’t have a clue – let me see if I can figure it out –

– No church hoppers
– No fruits nuts or flakes – no cereal christians
– No one who is hurting
– No whiny christians
– No disgruntled christians
– No “faddy” christians
– No fix-it christians

Deacon: Do they even know christians?  I’ve never seen a church with anything but the above!

Usher: My point exactly!  In their eyes, they’re perfect.  They must have won God’s gold medals at the spiritual olympics!

Deacon: So what happens when they are out in the mission field and one of them fails in the eyes of a Muslim or a JW or a Mormon or a Hindu or a Buddhist?

Usher: Then I guess Christ loses because their christianity is nothing but perfect – and if everyone is not perfect, their gospel don’t work

Church Hopper (Part 3)

June 26, 2008

Deacon: Usher, how does the church survive with church hoppers?

Usher: Who says it needs to survive in the form it’s in today Deak?

Deacon: Well it has been proven for about 2000 years.

Usher: That’s up for debate, Deak.

Usher: Let’s all be real.  What is the motivation for a church to grow its membership?  Money!  It’s not furthering the kingdom.  If it were, the church wouldn’t be telling its people to give, give, give and then only offer up an occasional prayer in exchange for all their investment.

Deacon: But the church is for those who are saved, so they can grow and the church is their to disciple them.

Usher: Deak, you’re more than idealistic on that statement.  You call discipleship weak Sunday School (teachers who volunteer and are rarely taught, trained, held accountable, etc.), cushy little youth groups with watered-down curriculum or some “made-up-curriculum” from the youth pastor who’s never done a single thing in his life except go to college, get a degree (with the greatest real life application being a few week-long mission trips to a safe haven)? 

Just what if that new person visiting is a seasoned disciple, has moved into the area with a job change and is a level 8 disciple and is far more advanced in his/her knowledge of the kingdom?  He sits through a couple sermons and realizes the pastor preaches on a level of about a 2.  He leaves.  Is he a “church hopper”

Deacon: But that’s not a normal situation Usher.

Usher: Life ain’t normal, Deak.  Everyone who walks in the church is unique.  Why does the church fall into the trap of offering programs that only cater to one group of people, then preach as though everyone in the group should buy into the shallowness of it all?  People are all at different stages in their lives.  One size fits all doesn’t cut it!  Church is not about the Sunday morning service, it’s about the body life.  Yet all the money the church collects and all the effort put into raising the membership is about the show or what I call the Sunday morning demonstration: “here are our great programs, don’t miss all the announcements about our great programs” and isn’t our worship team great?  And I (the pastor) worked so hard this week to prepare this one-size-fits-all sermon “just for you”.

Church Hopping (Part 2)

June 19, 2008

Deacon: What’s the church’s role in “church hopper”?

Usher: First of all Deak, church hopping to shop for the best programs and all is just plain wrong.  To shop a church for all the goodies makes my craw rumble.

Second, lots of churches don’t ever look at themselves in the mirror.  They put the label of “church-hopper” on anyone who doesn’t find their church to be the right place.  Shame on them.

For these types of people who are truly looking for a real church, I have a lot of mercy.  They are often the ones that no one seems to notice when they drop in.  They’re not pretty, they don’t have pretty little kids and maybe they just don’t fit into the mainstream of the church. 

Churches battle this by “training” their A-personality types to seek out the new people (usually with help from the greeters or making these types the greeters) and then they’re all over them like a Radio Shack salesman.  Doing what, why pushing their programs of course!  Ugh!  Let me get this straight – churches want authentic people, yet they push their programs all over them to get them to stay and then they condemn them because they find the church not to their liking?

Church Hopper (part 1)

June 17, 2008

Usher:  Deak, define “church hopper”

Deacon: It’s people who shop from church to church.  Some do it in hopes of finding a perfect church, while others end up there because they just don’t agree with the last church or cannot get along.

Usher: If they don’t get along, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily wrong does it?  Doesn’t it mean they might have issues or the preferences of the church don’t work for them?

Deacon: They usually are just troubled or difficult people.  You know the type, their problems follow them around wherever they go.

Usher: That’s a little harsh Deak.  I hear leaders complaining all the time about “difficult people”.  Isn’t that what the church is supposed to do – address the needs of people even if it’s uncomfortable? You know, invest in them at any cost?

Deacon: Years ago that might have been the case, but things have changed.  The church can’t do those things anymore, they might get sued or lose their membership roles.

Usher: Oh, I get it.  Leave them alone and they’ll go away and you won’t have to deal with them anymore.  Maybe some other “church” will take them in.  What if they refuse to leave? What do you do then?

Deacon: Most of the time, we simply refer them to professional help or refer them to a help program like AA or Divorce Care depending on their issues.

Usher: Sounds like you got it all figured out Deak.  Wrap it up in a neat little program solution and get on with it, eh?  So I guess there isn’t any church for buzzards cause they’re nothing but trouble?