Parish Shopping

Parish shopping is a pet peeve of mine. More on that another time, but for now, Fr Dwight Longnecker has a rant of his own:

“The church shopping has started to disintegrate. Not only do people church shop in order to find a church community to which they want to belong, but they church shop from week to week. I have an increasing number of people who say, “I belong to two parishes.” or “You may not see us every week Father, we divide our time between three different parishes.” or “We’re glad to belong to your parish, but we often like to go to the Latin Mass at —” or “I like this parish, but I also like Fr —’s homilies, and we go there sometimes too.” Even more disturbing are the people who cherry pick the different ministries from different churches. “We go to — for the Youth Group and really like —here in your parish for our Middle Schooler. Your parish school is great, but we like going to Fr — for Mass.”

How on earth is a pastor supposed to build any kind of community in a parish when people treat the church like a hamburger joint? You can’t even address this very easily because Americans are a nation of shoppers. They are used to having it their way. The customer is king and they are used to being royalty. They don’t like being told what to do. They will shop and choose what they want where they want it and you better deliver or they will go somewhere else.”



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