At the ‘recent’ Forge Intensive someone, I forget who, mentioned that the concept of church shopping is one of the proofs of how consumeristic we all have become. Then he went on to mention that the concept of church shopping horrifies him (my words).
What I don’t understand is how anyone can truly believe that church shopping is wrong. Consider the alternatives: pick a church at random, just go to the closest church. Now if you’re using one of these random methods your quite likely to end up attending a church that doesn’t even fall under your definition of church.
So maybe you need to filter out the churches that just aren’t what you are looking for, so I’d skip over the Exclusive Brethren church around the corner as they feel more like a cult to me. And it might be a good idea for me to ignore any church that practices faith healings during the service, that makes me uncomfortable.
As it isn’t good to judge a book by its cover, I think I had better go along to a few of the local churches I suspect may suit my style and work out which of them is best for me.
Oh look, now I’m church shopping, woe is me.
I also believe church shopping is good as it lets people find where their gifts are needed, the laws of supply and demand seam to be ignored by to many within churches. Economics are only a bad thing when used to increase your own wealth.
I can see where the speaker was coming from though, if you go church shopping with a consumeristic perspective you will end up finding the most cushy church that has welcoming people. While that isn’t a bad thing, it mighn’t be where God wants you. So go and look around for a church, don’t just look at what services they offer you, try and see what they are doing and what they will offer for you to do.
Sorry if this post was a bit wandering, I wrote it over many days.