Friday, February 8, 2008

What is Church?

A building? The steeple? The pews? The bible?
How about US? You, me, the brother across the street? Yes, yes and yes. We, God’s people are the church. Doesn’t that make sense? Than why is there so much attention on attendance of a building? Why are there so many people concerned in our Christian circles today to build up the definition of church being a building? In recent conversations in Bino’s blog we have talked about the Christian community coming together. I would like to add to that and say that the Christian community is all of us and we are the church. A building doesn’t mean a darn thing to me anymore. Some call it a place of worship, but if you think about it, couldn’t that be said for a lot of other places, our homes, our bedrooms, nature (outdoors). Doesn’t worship only happen when humans are involved anyway? So, if I was to say that I worshiped Father in Starbucks, wouldn’t that count? I am just posing some open-ended questions to boost up more conversations about this subject. Church and Christian community = SAME THING.

What do you think???

14 comments:

Walking Church said...

Too funny - for someone so youthful you are very wise in Him.

Keep on the trail.

Nicole's Godblog said...

Thank you! But I will give the credit to Father because it was him who showed me the way!

I am glad you found my blog, your blog is amazing and I will add it to my blog list if you don't mind!

Thanks for coming!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Walking Church said...

Keep drinking from those deeper wells of Revelation and celebrate your freedom in Christ..Sis...

Nicole's Godblog said...

AMEN to THAT!

Love and Freedom, Nicole!

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Great questions!

The question what comes to my mind when I hear 'place of worship' is, what really is worship? Raising hands and singing with organs? What if I have no hands to raise? what if I am deaf to hear the music? What if I am mute to sing? What if I can't travel to that place called 'place of worship'?
Our physical ability/inability shouldn't be limiting us to worship God. He is not interested in seeing how physically we are worshiping him. To me, worship is an attitude of heart, where we are thanking Him for what He has accomplished for us and praising Him for who He is.

Joel Brueseke said...

For the first seven of the past eight years, I was "called" to be a part of a large church (over 1,000 in weekly attendance). This was an undeniable call by the Holy Spirit, but I admit that I struggled during most of my time there, because my heart simply didn't relate to all the structure and organization, a lot of which is in place simply to keep the structure and organization structured and organized. ;)

Well, let me say this though... the people are wonderful, wonderful people. There is a lot of 'hands on' ministry that is not only relevant but is truly the body of Christ in action.

But yet I've had a hard time with a lot of the way it's all being done. The Holy Spirit kept me encouraged in His call for me to be a part of this local congregation, throughout all my prayers to not be a part of it. :) So because of His grace and encouragement, I was who I was called to be there and looking back I can see fruit from the work of the Spirit in and through me and these brothers and sisters of mine.

His work and fruit continues there, but as for me, finally, not quite a year ago I was given a "release" in my spirit to no longer be a part of this local congregation. Having been convinced by the Spirit to stay there for so long (for His purposes), it took a lot of working out in my heart to realize that I was being given the freedom to no longer participate there! I still love the people. My wife and kids are still "going to church" there.

But for the past many months, and even dating back to long before I was "released" from this local body, I have been truly seeking out the idea of just meeting with people and allowing the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to when we congregate and when we're apart, and to not have such a structured and organized way of meeting. To "be" the church and not "go to" church.

Your thoughts here Nicole, as well as those I've received from you Alvin, and from others, are very encouraging. There is a link on my blog called "The Assembling of the Church" that has also been a source of encouragement for me. I will say that not everything that is brought up on this blog is the way that I see things, but the thoughts expressed there are encouraging as this man is definitely thinking outside the organizational box, and I thought I'd just pass this on to you in case you're interested.

Aida said...

Hi Nicki,

I'm really enjoying what you've been sharing.

Bino asked what is worship? Maybe this is off subject but, some time ago, I did a study of the word "worship" using my concordance. I was amazed to find out that none of the definitions say anything about music or singing. As best as I was able to determine, worship has absolutely nothing to do with what we normally call worship in the Sunday service.

The first mention of worship in the Bible was in Genesis 22:5 when Abraham was taking Isaac to be sacrificed and he told his servant that Isaac and he were going up to the mountain to worship and then would return. It doesn't seem he was going up to the mountain with a guitar to sing a few slow songs with Isaac.

I personally think of worship more as a lifestyle of intimacy and yielding to Father. Darin Hufford talks about the various gifts Father has given us that have been hijacked by the institutional system and I believe worship is one of those gifts.

Aida

Nicole's Godblog said...

Hey guys,

I am so blessed to have you all come and comment for I am learning so much and everything has been very thought provoking and very good for me.

Bino and Aida, I too have struggled with that line, 'place of worship' I didn't know if you noticed but could you really see me or someone in the middle of Starbucks singing and dancing around and raising their hands? Wouldn't that be more of a show than a heart to heart with Father anyway? I completely agree with you. Worship is not really about that at all, its like Aida said, having a lifestyle that promotes being in intimancy with Father and yeilding to him and being in this life with Him... AMEN guys!

Joel.

I love your story. I see how Father has used you when you were there and is using you now where he has you. After reading your comment I see that it really isn't at all about a building, its about Father and his people. Even if some are still called to be or go to an organized religious facility, than that is where Father has them, but it really is about the hearts of God's people and where Father is taking them even if its not out of a building! Here's my take on it. Us who are out of the so called 'system' know that this is where Father has us, and those who aren't where we are doesn't mean that they are out of Fathers will. Fahter may still be developing his love to them in a way we can't quite see yet and perhaps, just maybe, through the whole fogginess of religion Father is still using them to build what we call the real 'church' up...

Love You All!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Aida said...

As you know, Nicki, I still go Sunday mornings but I consider myself out of the religious system since I don't think like anyone else I know who goes.

It really is not about whether or not you go to a building. I'm learning how to be free while still in the building. It can have its challenges but like Joel experienced I haven't been released from going so I'm really okay with it. The building is just not the center of my spiritual life. It's just a place I go to see family and friends.

Aida

Nicole's Godblog said...

Amen Aida,

I hope that is what everyone got from what I was saying. It isn't about whether or not someone goes to a congregation, but where their heart is and whether or not they find themselves engaging in real relationship with Father, that's the issue here! I hope this makes sense.

Love and Freedom, Nicole!

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