Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What is church?

Now there's a question to be answered in a 100 word blog!!

I am on a taskforce which among other things is looking at the decline of people going to church. In this discussion we talked about a number of things but they all required work done on the question "What is church?"

  • If we are reviving congregations, what are we expecting them to look like or do?
  • If we are planting new 'churches' or faith communities what do they need to satisfy the definition of church? What does that look like?
  • What are the marks we are looking for in established churches in order that they are churches and not just Christian clubs?

In order for us to be effective as Christians we need to understand what we are doing! Fairly basic really.

How many of us are so busy "doing church" that we don't check if that's what we really are doing.

Please feel free to post a comment on what your definition or requirements are for church.




Sally said...

I think you have hit the nail on the head with your question
How many of us are so busy doing church that we don't check if thats what we are truly doing?

I am constantly asking that question of myself and the 10 congregations I work amongst (rural UK).
I am challenged to acknowledge that many we havesmall groups of people that meet in fellowship together on varied week days .. and in a way they are church, from the teenagers who meet to watch and discuss life issues through watching the Simpsons, to the older folk who meet to drink tea and pray for each other and their friends these groups are church...
They are church in the fact that they worship together whatever the style... they reach out and encourage one another to reach out to their friends...they love Jesus aand are learning together how to follow him, as church leaders our role is to enable and release these groups and any other groups that spring up...
We need to get over our emphasis on Sundays and hierarchy and.....
I could rant on forever...

SingingOwl said...

Hello there, and welcome to the Rev Gals. I am asking myself that question all the time, and I will be very interested in comments. In the simple sense, church is a two or more gathered for connecting with each other and with Jesus. I agree with Sally's comments. But that is not helpful to discovering just why it is that church attendance is declining. I'm thinking some more about this today (we are in the middle of a snowstorm and so instead of working at the church I'm reading blogs at home -- chuckle) and I'll check back.

Mata H said...

Church is the doing of God's word by a community of believers.

But what is more important, the doing or the membership? I say focus on the doing. When we stop trying to butress institutions and focus instead on eapressing the values that bring us to these buildings in the first place, then we are doing God's will -- imho.

But hey, ymmv.