Jonathan at “Jon’s Journey” has written many good posts. But, his last two posts are right on the mark.
In the first post, “Recognize Church,” he lists various common misconceptions concerning what defines the church… things like buildings, Sunday morning events, organization… and you could add leadership, or membership, or many other things.
So, what does define the church? What makes a group the church?
This is Jonathan’s answer:
Jesus talks simply of when two or three are gathered in His name. Church (ecclesia) was a word used to refer to an assembly or democratic gathering. We see in other New Testament passages the early believers also used the term church to refer to all the believers in a geographical area. So in my mind church is simply believers and whenever they get together.
The question then becomes: As the church, what do we do when we gather together with other brothers and sisters in Christ?
Jonathan answers this question in his next post “My Role with Church.”
He looks at several different passages of Scripture and concludes with this:
That the whole body works together, to build up the body to become mature and more like Christ. So that we can be Christ’s living body in our world today.
And I think that is the role for each of us as we get together with other believers (the church – whenever and wherever).
I think Jonathan is on to something with both of these posts. Instead of trying to distinguish ourselves from other Christians, what if we sought to help one another grow in maturity in Christ no matter who, when, and where we are meeting together?