by Nick Barker, College Director
Ah, the memories of 7th grade! The hair gel! The baggy pants with oversized pockets!The buckets of cheap cologne and body spray! Oh, and how could one forget the dances! Junior high dances were something else, weren’t they? As a 13-year-old I remember walking into the school cafeteria on a Friday night, searching for my homeboys, and rushing over to the wall in which they were occupying. Looking across the room we could spot the young ladies huddled up. The game plan: wait for the “slow dance” song… then attack! The boys would walk across the vacant dance floor and ask a girl to dance. I remember dancing with several different girls at each dance. The slow songs were 3 1/2 minutes of awkwardness, to say the least. Afterward the girl would retreat back to her wall and group of gals, and the boy would do likewise. Wait until the DJ plays another slow song, then repeat. This time, find a different girl.
I share this past experience, which many of us have had, because I’ve noticed a similar trend within the local church today. There is a pattern that is common amongst many Christians. This pattern is in many ways damaging and crippling to the Church’s mission. This pattern is like the one of the junior high boys at a dance. Many church goers, especially those who are college age, like dancing (going along with the analogy) with several different churches or ministries. They will show up to gatherings, services, or even small groups one night and then move on to what the church down the street is doing the next night. I’ve encountered many twenty somethings that attend up to 5 different churches and services a week! This is a major problem within the local church. I’ll address the problems this causes in part 2 of the post.
One of the lingering issues with addressing this problem is that those church goers, who act like 13-year-old boys at a dance, don’t see any problem with what they are doing. Additionally, they will sometimes use Scripture to back up there actions and have little or no conviction.
Here are a few statements I’ve heard people say trying to justify their church hopping antics:
- “I like being fed.”
- “I want to learn as much as I can.”
- “I feel part of the greater body of believers.”
- “I like the way this place does worship, but I like the way that guy preaches.”
- “Aren’t we all one body anyway?”
- “My church doesn’t have anything for college students.”
And those who are really honest…
- “I’m trying to find a girlfriend/boyfriend.”
- “I don’t want to commit to one place.”
to be continued…
part 2 – the problems this causes
part 3 – the solution