The word “church” has so many various meanings. It all depends on who you are talking to and what your talking about. If one looks at Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary you will find the following as the definition: “1 : a building for public and especially Christian worship2 : the clergy or officialdom of a religious body3 : a body or organization of religious believers: as a : the whole body of Christians b : DENOMINATION c : CONGREGATION4 : a public divine worship 5 : the clerical profession “.
So my understanding of what is meant when one says the word “church” is very confused and foggy.
Our small group that we are a part of is struggling to figure out what we are meant to be as a group. Are we just surfacey and supposed to study the Bible or are we supposed to get into the meat of life and its issues or what.
I think we in America have a distorted view of the church. We often see it as Websters dictionary does, as a building, an event, an orginization, a career or profession. So from these views its more something that we go and do, not something that we are and that we live.
I believe from my understanding of the scriptures and understanding the early years of the church after Christ’s Death, that the church is something that we are, something we are not meant to seperate ourselves from. We often disassociate ourselves from the “church” when we are not present at the building or location of worship, or when not amongst fellower “church goers”. I believe in my heart of hearts that this is not what God meant for us to do.
I believe that God mean for us to the the church or Body of Christ 24/7 365. We are meant to care for others, worship with each other, prayer for each other, correct each other lovingly. We are to live as Christ called us to do and we are to do it all the time. We are to live life with our bothers and sisters. We are supposed to be there for each other as tangible expressions of our omnipresent God. We are to be as one author put it, God with skin on. We are to be God’s hands, feet, voice, and love to those around us.
So to me I guess the church is not a building, an event, or an organization. Its is the son’s and daughters of Christ who our of a common desire and calling and saviour, band together and live life together, going through the ups and downs of life, the sin and struggles, the joys and celebrations. It is believers who are there for each other, who are able to speak the truth to each other in love, who are there to correct you and to support you. Those who are there to laugh with you and cry with you, to lend you a helping hand when one is needed.
To me the church is meant to be more than it is. It may mean that what we call “church” becomes smaller pockets of believers, and instead of going to “church” we go to celebrations with other “churches”. A worship celebration!
So what must we do? We need to seek to understand waht God means by the church and body of Christ, and seek to live it our in our daily lives………. Our definition may mean something completely different than the person next to us on any given Sunday. But we need to seek to join with those who are like minded and strive to be what God has called us to be.