Some time ago, Moody; the magazine of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, made an interesting observation about the hitchhiker. He wants a free ride. He assumes no responsibility for the money needed to buy the car, the gas to run it, or the cost of maintenance. He expects a comfortable ride and adequate safety. He assumes the driver has insurance covering him in case of an accident. He thinks little of asking the driver to take him to a certain place even though it may involve extra miles or inconvenience.
Think about the “spiritual hitchhiker” who has settled all his major questions and has definitely decided where he wants to attend church, but now he wants all the benefits and privileges of that church’s ministry without taking any responsibility for it. His attitude is all take and no give. He wants no accountability, just a free ride.
This is not meant to discourage those who are attending a church to find answers about Jesus Christ and are still uncertain about their eternal destiny. If that describes you, your first priority is to come to Christ rather than to come for church membership.
Neither is this intended to deter those who are sincerely and actively seeking God’s will in a decision about a church home. Sometimes that decision cannot be made quickly. A wise person evaluates a church carefully before joining its membership.
A spiritual hitchhiker, however, has no real intention of joining the church, at least not soon. He only wants to enjoy its advantages without any obligation on his part. He wants convenience without commitment, to be served rather than to serve. But every true Christian is to be committed to “the proper working of each individual part” (Ephesians 4:16 NASB) in a local church. When you join a church, you’re saying you believe in taking your individual part and that you don’t want to be a spiritual hitchhiker.
Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines within the Church, 52-53.