Today’s Word: ‘Church’ as in… the church isn’t a place on the map, it’s not a building on the street. The church is a movement of the people.
(Read this one slowly, it’s is a little tricky.)
My conversation with the high school students revealed that being together in worship is a value that we affirm together as a church, as a community of faith. It is a value that runs very deep.
But it’s important to think about how we understand ‘church.’
Often, ‘church’ is understood as the building where people gather, where people go to consume ‘churchy’ things—“religious goods and services.” Church is sometimes described using phrases like engaging and entertaining worship, fun and lively music, inspirational and/or information-rich and/or data-heavy sermons/message.
Yikes! How did that happen? Aagghh! Never mind, I know. I’ve been part of the system.
But what if we helped each other think about church in a (really, it isn’t such a…) radically new (it hasn’t always been this…) way?
What if we began to understand ‘church’ not so much as a noun—a place or a thing, but more as a verb—a missional action that people live into; Jesus’ work, activity, presence, and power in the lives of people in our own neighborhoods, to say nothing of the world beyond the end of our street.
So then, when kids and parents and individuals and families begin to engage in the work of Jesus through their (brick and mortar) churches, they aren’t so much going to a (static) place, as they are actually becoming the (dynamic) hands and feet of Jesus in the world. They’re actually doing the work of Christ all around them.
The church from this perspective isn’t where we go to get something. The church is who we are when we’re giving something, giving ourselves away!
The church isn’t a place on the map, it’s not a building on the street. The church is a movement of the people.