When you hear the word "church", what comes to your mind? A building with a steeple? A man in a robe standing before a group of people, preaching? A row of pews? Stained glass? A basket being passed around for people to put in their money? An organ? A large cross on the front wall? These are a few of the images that come to my mind when I hear the word "church". They come from my past experiences of going to church, and I'm sure most of you have similar thoughts.
The definition of "church" basically is a place where people of one faith gather together to worship their god. There are many different denominations, and many different ways of doing "church". People worship differently depending on the culture where they live. In America's South, people worship more flamboyantly, compared to the North where some people are more reserved. Music styles differ dramatically, even in the same church. There are Traditional services where people sing hymns to organ music. And then there are Contemporary services where praise and worship songs are led by guitars and drums. Some services incorporate dancing and sign language. There is no limit to how church is done. As long as it is done in a location where people get together to worship God.
But what happens to the church if something should happen to the building? A terrible thought, but is a building really necessary to have a church? Are the things we see in churches necessary to have a church?
We are the church. Yes, you and me are the church. Wherever and whenever we gather together to seek God, pray, read the Bible, share His Word, and even have Communion, then we are having church. We know, as Christians, that where two or three are gathered together, Jesus is in their midst. Jesus is the Cornerstone of the church. Christ lives in us, and our bodies are His temple. We are the body of Christ and have received different giftings, all meant to work together to edify the body and glorify Jesus. We are a mobile church in a way. And the Holy Spirit inspires us to shine Jesus' Light ever more brightly. We are a testimony of what changed lives we are, all because we have let God reign in our hearts and souls.
You are fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord, And in Him you too are being buillt together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.
In this age today, there are too many people who never step inside of a church building! They are hurting, and need a Savior, while not even realizing it. As we live our lives, following Christ and sharing His love, we are better able to reach others for Him. We can be the witnesses He has created us to be, just by being the church.
So the next time the Sunday morning worship service comes to an end, and you are leaving the church building, remember that though you aren't in that building, you are still at church... you and the Holy Spirit in you. Minister to others and share His love!