Tomorrow a.m. (tonight for you at 12:35 in the a.m.) I will be facilitating a discussion on the topic: What is Church? The point isn’t to describe the institution so much as the mission – or the reason it exists.
The life context of the 25 attendees is radically different – in age, cultural background, country of origin, life experience, & perspective, so I’m expecting some interesting answers to the above question.
How would you answer it? If that’s not enough to get you blogging, then:
When you think “Church” what comes to mind? Why?
Talk amongst yerselves…
hmmm…apparently no one wanted to answer the big question.
i would say church is people who come together anywhere, anytime, and talk about Jesus, encourage each other to keep living for Jesus, pray for each other, share songs of praise, and then look forward to the next time when they can do this again.
I like your answer noel…
I have been thinking on this and haven’t come up with anything cohesive enough to write down. I like what you said in your next post about the embassy with ambassadors… that paints a good picture. I also think it is interesting that my definition of “church” has changed and developed into something totally different than what it was when I first started attending “church”.
No.. – interesting take on church – several people came with similar definitions, esp. about defining meeting with other CHristians as ‘church’ or at least ‘church-like’ – but still, a “main meeting” still keeps popping up.
Laura- I’d love to have you articulate what you’re pondering – if its not totally together yet, that’s ok, bring it. I’d also love to hear about your changing definitions from then to now – what do you say? :)
okay… you asked for it, so here is your novel:
Let’s see… when I first started searching for God, I became Catholic. There is a book in the Catholic church called the Catechism. It explains why church exists, its purpose, and every detail of the mass down to who and what is positioned on the alter at what moment. So, I didn’t really have to think too hard about it then, just look at the book. A set of rules. We went to church to pray (because that is where God is), confess, and take communion.
Then, when I truly became a Christian, I was in consumer mode. Because I was now so “spiritual”, what church would feed me spiritually? what church had the best programs for me and my kids? was the music good? was the facility nice? and the doctrine had to be precise (to what, i don’t know) etc.
Now, I live in reality (or so I like to think). So, when you asked this question, I immediately thought of the biblical church. The church as the body of Christ. Not what denomination, not what building you attend on the weekend, or the format of your weekend service, but if you were bought with blood, you are a member of the church. I have also realized what a major responsibility we have as members of the church to also be in the world. it is very easy to start living in a Christian bubble and not be serving the purpose that God has for us as members of his church, which is to be the light in the world. Then there is the church family, community, congregation, whatever you want to call it. This I think is where people of similar mindsets get together to worship, learn God’s Word, pray with each other, give and get encouragement. I say similar mindsets because when choosing a church to attend, you don’t go to just any church, you look at the socioeconomics, demographics and beliefs of the people already attending… whether intentionally or not, its true.
so, in a nutshell, your home church should be making disciples, training up christ-followers so that they can go on and make disciples and so on… that is why i liked the embassy with ambassadors analogy…similar.
okay, i think that is enough.
Laura – thanks for taking the time to write down your thoughts – I like the progression you went through from the expression of church in the bible (which is very short on methods) to the local ‘community’ of beliefs & believers…