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South Green Street Church of Christ

 

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Church Hopping
By Steve Higginbotham
April 7, 2005
 

Have you heard about the man who was the only survivor of a shipwreck?  He swam ashore to an uncharted island and lived there for the next five years.  Finally, sailors spotted the smoke of his campfire and rescued him from the island.  As they were leaving the island, one of the sailors and the rescued man stood on the back of the boat, gazing at the tiny island that had sustained this man for the past five years.  The sailor interrupted the reflective silence by asking the man what the three huts were for.  The man said, "the first hut was my home.  The second hut was where I went to church.  And the third hut was where I used to go to church before I got mad and left."

The sad thing about this story is that it is an accurate caricature of what so many people are doing today. When a person gets his feelings hurt, he leaves for another congregation.  When a person is offended, he leaves for another congregation.  When a person doesn't get his way, he leaves for another congregation.  Instead of working through difficulty, being patient, practicing forgiveness and brotherly kindness, and being dependable, people use their membership, and the threat of leaving, as a form of bribery to get their way.  When they don't get their way, off they go to another congregation to exchange their old problems for a set of new ones yet to be realized.  Then the process begins again.

I wonder if much of the "church hopping" we see today would cease if people were more concerned about what they can contribute to a congregation rather than focusing upon what a congregation can do for them.  I believe we would all be better off if we would focus "less on self, and more on Thee."

 

Copyright 2005, South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky
Permission is granted to copy these articles.