SGBC Modesto

Church Shopping

March 20, 2024 by

William Heinrich

Whenever a move from one location to another is necessary, it is proper to church shop. More and more churches have changed their names in order to not reveal their denominational ties. This is because many people have had a bad experience and have vowed never to attend that brand of church again. Therefore, it usually takes longer to dig deep enough to determine which of the churches being visited is the one for you. This is church shopping looked at positively,

There is a negative side to church shopping as well. Studies reveal some go to many churches. They like the music of one, the preaching at another and the youth programs at still another. They usually reason like those who don’t attend church. “YOU don’t have to go to church to be a Christian but they say, ‘The Bible no where teaches church membership.'” It would be good to refute both of those statements in detail, but one thought will handle them for now. The church is God’s idea and He places His people into a church home as family (brothers and sisters). Nature teaches birds have nests, bees have hives, etc., so Christians have church homes. The apostle Paul established churches, not just Christians.

Another negative side to church shopping comes from having high expectations. People are looking for a church just like the one they came from or went to as a child. We call this the early church myth. Some have said “If only we could be like the early church.” Yet. the early church was made up of people just like today. They had some who lied (Acts 5), some who murmured (Acts 6 and Philippians 2:14), some who didn’t get along (Philippians 4:2,3), some who caused division (1 Corinthians 1 and 3), some who fornicated (1 Corinthians 5), some who offended others (Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 9-10), some who were hearers but not doers (James 1:22), and so on. Usually a church looks almost innocent at first. But the longer you’re there and deeper involved you become, the more that it’s revealed. You find people with their good and bad just like in any family. Perhaps it’s best if you agree doctrinally to just not shop but serve where God places you building up His body.