the weblog of Alan Knox

Yes, the church really is the people

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in gathering | 13 comments

Yes, the church really is the people

The church is the people of God gathered together – brothers and sisters in Christ meeting together.

That’s easy to say, but for many people, it’s difficult to recognize the church outside of a specific place or time or event. But, when the church really is the people, then the people will be more important than any of those other things.

My brothers and sisters proved this point last weekend. But, let me start a couple of months ago.

A good friend of ours had surgery back in December. She has been recovering well, but she cannot sit or stand in one place for more than 30 minutes or so. She has joined us a couple of times (for short periods of time) when we gather together, but she’s only able to meet with us for a few minutes.

Last week, one of our brothers in Christ called her and asked if we could gather at her home instead of our normal meeting place. She said she would love that. So, he sent out an email and got on the phone and made sure that everyone knew where we would meet Sunday morning.

We talked, read Romans, prayed, shared, sang, laughed, cried, and ate together in our sister’s living room and kitchen. She was able to sit for while, stand for a while, and, then – when she couldn’t sit or stand – she was able to lay down in her bed.

Why would my friend go to all that trouble to change our meeting place? Why would our sister allow a bunch of people into her home?

Because people are the church, and people are important.

Gathering together with the church is not about being in a certain place. It’s not about a certain order of events or actions. It’s not about listening to someone speak. It’s not about great songs, choirs, or bands.

Gathering together with the church is about helping each other grow in faith, love, unity, and service in Jesus Christ. If other things and places and events and activities take precedence over the “each other,” then we’re missing it.

Instead, we should be willing to set aside everything else for “one another.”

(For another great example of this, read this post from Guy at “The M Blog” called “Dealing with painful real issues in house church.”)

Do you know of other examples in which believers changed their plans to show that people are important to them?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 2-7-2013

    Alan, your story is so encouraging. This is what we practice here in London, UK. We meet in one another’s homes, and if someone is sick / unable to come to a gathering, we can go to his house.

    And not only on Sunday morning. During the week, it is good to be in the homes of the believers to fellowship, visit, get to know one another, and be built up. I think the Lord is recovering the practice in Acts 2, from house to house!

    When we meet in a home in such a way, it is different! Just like in a real home, the kids have a lot to say, and the new ones among us have a lot of questions, or a lot to say. But we all can speak, and we all can minister to one another for building up.

    I’ll post on my blog soon something on this matter, with some experiences. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 2-7-2013

    Meeting in homes as we do here has allowed us to be flexible and with the flu going around, out of consideration for our two newborns and our several elderly members, we can switch venues with a flurry of emails and texts messages so that exposure is limited as well as facilitate the inclusion of anyone incapacitated, but not contagious.

  3. 2-7-2013


    Yes, on Sundays and throughout the week. If the church is the people (and it is), then we will make ourselves available to the people in whatever way we can.


    I know some who meet in homes who are very inflexible. And, we typically do not meet in homes, but are extremely flexible. The “flexibility” to change for the sake of others is more important than the location. But, I definitely agree with your overall point that we should be willing to change our plans “out of consideration” of others.


  4. 2-7-2013

    Now that you mention it, it seems the book of the Acts of the Apostles is a story of flexibility.
    Maybe flexibility is in our DNA.

  5. 2-7-2013


    Yes, being flexible must be part of who we are, because other people must be part of who we are. And, we cannot interact with and relate with other people without being flexible.


  6. 2-8-2013

    Touching! Love!

  7. 2-8-2013


    I agree! I wish it had been my idea.


  8. 2-10-2013


    This reminded me of the first seeds ever that God planted in me to get me to think outside the typical church box. During my teen years when I would see my grandma too sick & frail to be able to “go to church” that she had so faithfully served for so long… I started to think geesh maybe it doesn’t have to be like this. People did visit once in a while yes, but considering our church consisted of less than 15 people – it just seemed quite ridiculous to not move ourselves to her.

    There are SO MANY shut ins & elderly that can not “go to church” in our area.

    If people can somehow believe that it’s possible for these shut ins to still experience church (they wouldn’t deny them that, would they?!) – that’s a great first step to opening up some mental boxes people have about church!!!

    and for some encouragement to you all from my 6 year old. His friend came over the other day & the friend saw something about Jesus in our home. I listened to them from the other room and was just “cheesing” so big when I heard them:

    friend (in a whatcha talkin bout willis tone…so you can picture it) “you all know Jesus!?”
    son (2 front teeth missing with a major lisp) “oh yes (yesssttth) definitely. we definitely know Jesus. don’t you?”
    friend: “yeah but I didn’t know you all went to church”
    son: “actually our church comes here”
    friend: “your church comes here?!”
    son: “actually no sometimes we meet at the park”
    friend: “you take a church to the park!?”
    son: “well actually sometimes we meet here, sometimes at a park, sometimes at church house, too…. it really doesn’t matter, you can meet with church anywhere”
    friend: “i didn’t know that!!! i gotta tell my mom that. i’m not sure she knows”

    🙂 hehehe

  9. 2-12-2013


    “Our church comes here…” From a 6 year old… Awesome!


  10. 2-12-2013

    It IS so cool how the next generation kiddos could grow up understanding & thinking so differently than any other in our country/history!

    The great thing to me about this specifically is that he is a very active 6 year old who I have a very hard time keeping his eyes & giving direct instruction. We have never even sat down and discussed what church is & isn’t so it’s just him being apart of life with us & having his own perspective. I didn’t even realize he was paying attention. I wonder what else he holds in that little heart & brain!?!?
    LOVE IT!! Thank you Lord! 🙂

  11. 2-12-2013

    A little cross reference here…I think this comment by Randi expresses a bit more understanding of what I said in the “Aren’t Kids a Distraction When the Church Gathers” string re: the sovereignty the family and the process of osmosis – “…We have never even sat down and discussed what church is & isn’t so it’s just him being a part of life with us & having his own perspective. I didn’t even realize he was paying attention.”.

  12. 2-12-2013

    Rita do you have the link to it? 🙂

  13. 2-12-2013


    This is the post: “But, aren’t kids a distraction when the church gathers?



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