My church is not a building
What does the word 'church' really mean?
‘Is your church the one with the steeple?’ ‘Is your church the one on the corner?’
‘Wow, that’s an old church’, ‘I always find churches dark and dingy’
People often talk about churches as though they were buildings. Are they?
I always laugh when I read what the Bible says about churches. What would it mean if all these passages were about buildings?
- In Acts 15 we hear about Paul going through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Was Paul a structural engineer, fixing up buildings?
- Later, in Acts 18:22, after he landed at Caesarea, Paul went up and greeted the church (I’m guessing it was like talking to a brick wall!) and then went down to Antioch (possibly to shake hands with a building there too).
- 1 Timothy 5:16 tells us if any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them so that the church can help those widows who are really in need. Who needs friends when you have a building to look after you?
- In Acts 12:5 Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. I wonder if God answers the prayers of buildings any quicker than people’s prayers?
And my favourite …
- Acts 11:22, when news of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. What a good listener! They don’t make buildings like they used to.
Do you get the point? The Church is not about the building!
When we ‘go to church’ (or youth group) we don’t just go to a building, we are gathering with believers, to spur on another in their trust in Jesus resurrection alone for salvation until the day when Jesus returns.