What is a church anyway?

When we think of the word church how did we allow it (for some) to become this?

photos by: Barb Harwood-Gendron

Please don’t get me wrong. I think these buildings are beautiful, and absolutely useful and necessary for shelter, especially in Canada, where our climate in not very forgiving sometimes. ( We sometimes joke about the two main seasons in Canada: 1.”winter” and 2.”black fly/ mosquito” season.)

When I ask people what church is, especially “non-church” people, a lot of the time I get the response that church is the place down the street (Like above.). Alternatively it’s a service on Sunday were people gather. Sometimes very judgey people (but that is a discussion for another day). Others would say a place to go and meet with God.

So is a church just a place that you go to meet God? If that is all it is, then isn’t this the perfect church?

thanks Barb for this photo also from somewhere in Northern Ontario

In my opinion, I believe that we need to think much deeper about what church is and how we display it to others.

I do believe in the Creator God.

I believe that He loves us, He wants our acknowledgement, and praise and worship.

I also think that in His creation of us that He made us for community! “It is not good for the man to be alone!” Genesis 2:18 God intended us to live in families, tribes, communities.

What then do I believe that a church should be more than anything else?

A church should be a group of individuals that “love God, and love each other”, but NOT only on Sunday’s for an hour.

It is good to gather together to praise and worship together but it should not stop there. I believe as a church we need to be involved on a daily basis in each others lives. I believe we need to help each other up, and push each other forward. I believe we need to care on a much deeper level than “How was your week? Oh that’s nice!”

Our church should be a group of “family” (not necessarily blood related), that stretches us, sometimes tells us when we are off track or loosing site of the goal. They should be encouragers. If a member is in need they should be the first one on the scene to help. They should be there to celebrate with us and mourn with us.

Our church should always be open to welcoming others in. Just wait, I know, I know, what if people join into our church, that are “takers, users, or disruptive”. Everyone deserves a chance or a few chances, but a church should encourage each other to be the very best and not allow each other to be less than there best.

We need to become a living example to what it means to “love thy neighbour” and we need to begin within the confines of the buildings in which we meet, yes, BUT, we need to then explode out and build communities that people want to be a part of because of how we interact with each other.

I want to see a church built, a living expression of the love of God, by sharing the joy of a life worth living, a community of people that are divinely brought together to grow and stretch each other, and in so doing bring thanks and praise back to the Creator.

This is church.

thanks Janna for the use of this photo

I am seeing this church being built right before my eyes, where two have gathered together, in this case, to celebrate a birthday milestone. To dream and goal set, and power through together. Or in fact to lift up and support each other as was the case in how Barb got to take the church photos and the photo of the northern Ontario sky.

So instead of the church being a place to go to, to worship, what I am saying is, let us be the church, let our lives be the worship to our Lord and Creator, by how we relate to one another by word, by action and by deed!