The Church Has Left The Building

Strange how ideas from varied sources sometimes seem to all arrive at the same time. Noel Whitlock’s presentation at the morning assembly of the College congregation in Searcy came between my reading of the following two posts. One of Noel’s points of emphasis was that how over the years we have  judged each other faithful by how often we come to “church.”

For me the whole effect has definitely been greater than the sum of its parts. 

Consider:

From Mike Cope http://www.preachermike.com/

“Missional” — a term that has popped up that I describe as “the church has left the building.” It’s what we’ve always believed at our best. The priesthood of all believers. You aren’t just a public school teacher whose job is to support the ministers at church; you are a minister! You are a representative of Christ in your job, in your neighborhood, in your family. You have been blessed by God to be a blessing to others. The term tends to sit over against “consumerism” — a tendency in the megachurch movement (among other places) to say “here’s what we can offer your family if you’ll come here.”

From Hank Tankersly http://www.vci.net/~broadway/

1. The history of change indicates that at first our language is corrupted, then our understandings, and then our practices. “Church” to many if not most people is a building. We meet at the Church. Our Church is as First and Broad streets. Church. The sign out front indicates that our Church, for instance, is the XYZ Church. Our non-institutional brethren were perhaps moving in the right direction when they advertized that the “Church of Christ meets here.” And then, in recent years we have had the discussions of small-letter church as opposed to capital-letter Church.

2. The “ekklesia” that Jesus said he was going to build had nothing to do with brick and mortar buildings. The ekklesia (church) is people, and is always people. One may locate these people for purposes of identification, but they never become anything other than people. (Check out references to church in, church at, and church of.)

3. In this present dispensation, the “new covenant” times, God is not tied to a physical building of any kind, shape or fashion. Is this not what Jesus taught the Samaritan woman in John 4:

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