Culture At Large

Church (S)Hopping: Exploration Not Sport

Chris Salzman

Al Hsu over at The Suburban Christian writes in response to an article by Richard Mouw in the latest Christianity Today. The article, Spiritual Consumerism's Upside, prompted him to think a little bit about his own journey:
In [the article] Mouw notes that while church hopping and church shopping are often frowned upon for good reasons, they also may well be entirely appropriate transition points in a person's spiritual pilgrimage. ... I found myself resonating with this because I consider myself something of an evangelical mutt. Because my mom was a Christian and my dad was not, I found myself attending a variety of churches growing up, from Assemblies to Covenant to a Taiwanese congregation to Evangelical Free. I attended a Church of Christ/Christian Church college, got involved in ELCA Lutheran retreats, worked at a North American Baptist summer camp. I came to Wheaton for grad school and settled in a Christian & Missionary Alliance congregation for a few years. After getting married, we spent seven years in a Church of Christ/Christian Church before the ancient-future liturgical pull became irresistible and we joined our Anglican church. ... It makes sense to me that every denomination or church has its own distinctives and place in the kingdom, and I think it's good for people to explore options to find where they best align (as long as it's done with this larger corporate sense and isn't just an expression of American individualism).

My family grew up in a baptist church, now we all attend churches of differing denominations (still all protestant though). Seems rarer and rarer these days that one person stays with one denomination.

What's your church attendance tradition? Do you think that church shopping/hopping can be helpful? Do you think that those that just stick with one denomination or church their whole lives are missing out on anything?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, News & Politics, Media