A couple of years ago my hubby and I were talking about the phrase going to church. It was a fun conversation that had us doing some theological digging. What does God say about “CHURCH”? How does His Word describe “CHURCH”?
It didn’t take long for us to come to the same conclusion and CHURCH began to take on a whole new meaning for us. We began to understand that we don’t go to church. We are the church. How can you go to yourself? How can we go to who we are?
Perhaps it seems like a matter of semantics (and I don’t want to get technical here) but when we say something enough it begins to become ingrained in our thought process and we lose the real meaning somewhere along the way.
When we think in terms of ‘going’ to church a piece of our identity in Christ is lost. Somehow we lesson who we are in the process of designating a building as the church instead of the born again children of God.
When the church is a building it becomes something we attend and our purpose gets lost in the translation.
Our English word church comes from the Greek word ekklēsia and it means the called out ones, those gathered together to worship. It’s an interesting word in that it speaks of more than one and always refers to people not a building.
We (each of us collectively) are the church.
So, in essence, we don’t go to church. We are the church. But if our understanding of the church is rooted in the building we attend and not who we are, then not only is our identity in jeopardy of being watered down but the responsibility to be who we are is lessoned, as well.
So, for the past two or so years, we have rephrased the way we say we are going to church. Now we say we are going to worship.
Think about it. Going to church means I’m just going to a building. Going to worship means I’m going to DO something. Going to worship means I HAVE A PURPOSE BEYOND CHURCH ATTENDANCE.
Being the church calls me to more than just weekly attendance. Being the church identifies me as His and, as such, accountable to be His ambassador… to be salt and light in this world… to be a follower who is completely devoted to HIM… not to church attendance – but to HIM!
Gathering together as believers is a special privilege we have because we are His children and because He has set His seal upon us. The church coming together is to be a beautiful expression of worship. We meet to celebrate the greatness of all He is. We meet to minister to one another and grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We gather because we are THE CHURCH.
We are the called out ones. The ones who gather as an assembly of believers to worship the Living God. We are those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and are eternally secure because of what Jesus did on the cross.
The building is an ediface. Just a shell. We may worship in that building. We may read the Word of God together and study there. We may fellowship together there. We may even eat together there. But it is only a building.
As we walk in the doors of what we so often call church it becomes church because we have gathered together.
We don’t GO TO CHURCH. We GO TO WORSHIP.
We ARE THE CHURCH.
So, I want to encourage you, sweet friend, to consider who you are and reconsider your thoughts about church. Remind yourself of how the Bible calls YOU ‘the church’ and because of that you are so much more than a weekly trip to a building where others have gathered in His name.
Stop going to church because the church is who you are!
What are your thoughts about the church?And while we say it all the time, (It’s time to go to church.) have you ever wondered if that’s biblically correct?