The church is the people, not the building. Every Christian pastor will tell you the same thing. Heck, the Bible says the same thing in the New Testament. So why do we say we’re going to church?
Honestly, I have no idea how to answer that. Please feel free to tell me your thoughts and opinions, even point me to the truth, in the comments below.
Personally, I say I’m going to church or at church or something similar because it is identifiable. People know that church is where you go to be taught about God in a formal or organized setting. People recognize that the building has a purpose just like a library or an office. I think it might even be a holdover from the Old Testament when God lived in the temples and you had to go to the temple to give your sacrifices.
But we don’t live in the Old Testament. We live in the New Testament. We live after Jesus was sacrificed on the cross, like a criminal of the times, for OUR sins. After Jesus died, rose again, and went to be with the father to prepare a place for us, God no longer lived in the temples. God no longer lived in buildings. Instead, after accepting Jesus, and ultimately God, as the lord and leader of our lives, God resides in each of us through the Holy Spirit. That is why the church is the people, not the building.*
I think it is more relevant now than any time in the last several hundred years. COVID-19 shut down life as we know it. Over the last year, I have “gone to church” from the comfort of my living room and even my bed. While doors were closing around the world, Christians had to scramble to present The Bible in new ways. The building that C, the kids, and I attend has been ahead of the curve for years in this regard. The group of believers we meet with and learn with has been live-streaming our services since before we started attending – roughly 12 or 13 years now. So when our campus closed its doors to the public, the Word of God was still being taught and with very little scramble.
Instead of scrambling to get a live-stream going for the general congregation, we scrambled to give live-streamed content to our youth and children. The staff delivered very quickly. Now that the doors have reopened, we are scrambling to deliver the crafts and games to our children who haven’t come back. We are currently making boxes for those children weekly but we are close to being able to have boxes for a whole series (2-6 weeks at a time) ready at once.
Do you go to, or attend, church? Do you attend at a campus? Do you watch a live-stream? You don’t have to answer me, but if you don’t attend a church or even believe in God, I invite you to give it a try. What have you got to lose?
*Disclaimer: I am not a theologian nor am I an authority on Christianity. I am merely expressing my opinions and beliefs.