The following is a summation from a blog that Bro. John follows by another pastor and scholar, Dr. James Emery White. The blog is named Church and Culture, the post is Should Sheep Shop can be found here.
So, is church shopping and sheep swapping ever a good thing? Always a bad thing? I think that it can be a variety of both of those.
I have found, like Dr. White, that there will always be churches that are attractive to us for a variety of reasons. It is sometimes tempting to take a Sunday and go visit – just to see what all the fuss is about.
But you will miss something at your church if you start shopping. The tempter convinces us that we need more, that we are not being fed, and that the grass is greener on the other side of the valley. I have found the times (and as church staff these time are few and far between) that I am able to visit somewhere it seems that something neat always happens at MY church when I am away.
Dr. White compares the workings of a church like a relationship that you are invested in. The give and take, the love and frustration, the inner workings become stories that build memories over the years. And we have to be here and be engaged for these things to take place in OUR church. Those things become like Ebeneezer stones raised up for the members, the memories of those who are able to talk about them in special tones of affection.
Bro. John has said in the recent past that church is not an event that you go to, but a family that you are a part of. We miss you when you are not here.
Hebrews 10:23-25 says, "23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Resist the urge to shop, to swap. And step up and make an investment. If you are not pleased with an area in our church, my challenge to you is to raise your head and invest in that area. What investment are you making in YOUR church?