The Church and The Steeple

Google defines 'Church' as:
noun: church; plural noun: churches
  1. 1.
    a building used for public Christian worship.
    "they came to church with me"
    synonyms:place of worship, house of God, house of worship; More
    • a particular Christian organization, typically one with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines.
      noun: Church
      "the Church of England"
      synonyms:denomination, ecclesial community; More
    • the hierarchy of clergy of a Christian organization, especially the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England.
      noun: the Church
    • institutionalized religion as a political or social force.
      "the separation of church and state"
verb: church; 3rd person present: churches; past tense: churched; past participle: churched; gerund or present participle: churching
  1. 1.
    take (a woman who has recently given birth) to church for a service of thanksgiving.
Old English cir(i)cecyr(i)ce, related to Dutch kerk and German Kirche, based on medieval Greekkurikon, from Greek kuriakon (dōma ) ‘Lord's (house),’ from kurios ‘master or lord.’ Compare with kirk.

The Greek Dictionary-Index to the New Testament in the Strongest Strongs' Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines Church as follows:

ekklesia, v. GK:
Church, congregation, assembly; a group of people gathered together. It can refer to the OT assembly of believers (Ac 7:38), or a riotous mob (Ac 19:32), but usually to Christian assembly, a church: as a totality (Eph 3:10), or in a specific locale (Col. 4:15). In the NT a church is never a building or meeting place:-church[78], churches [36], assembly [3], in every church [1].

Can we just spend a moment talking about the idea of a church being a RIOTOUS MOB for a second? How crazy is it that the same people of God who gather to worship Him in prayer and in song can also be described as a mob who participates and riots!

Anyway, The church point is that Google, (society's representative), and the Bible (God's representative), view Church very differently.  It's not surprise that society defines something differently than the Word of God does--that's pretty standard. But that means we need to take a look at where our definition of Church falls. My guess is that your definition is a blend of the two.

There's not doubt in my mind that the very defining of the word 'Church' causes division and that has something to do with why we have so many different kinds of Church. I was baptized Methodist, went to a Moravian Church with my Grandparents, was Confirmed Lutheran, Attend a Baptist College, and am now a member of this Presbyterian Church. Oh and I'm engaged to a Catholic. I can honestly tell you that every denomination I just mentioned defines and views 'Church' differently. Further, every member of those denominations, have a lot of their own ideas of the definition of 'Church' and how it should be run.

We all have this ideal church in our minds, whether we think about it regularly or not. Everyone sits in the pew on Sunday and wishes that we would sing this song, or we would pray this way instead, or that we would have communion or not have communion. We all are either wishing their were no crying babies or more crying babies; that the carpet was a different color or not their all together; that the Pastor would move away from the podium or stay put. In Youth Group, we all either want more games or less games, more singing or less singing, small groups or no small groups.

There is always something we would like to be changed so that the church better fit our definition and our personal faith has a lot to do with it. Those who are spiritually gifted to missions are always going to want a more mission minded church, while those who are gifted with wisdom and knowledge are going to crave more education and Bible studies.

Last week we found out what our Spiritual Gifts are. This week, we are going to look at our Church and start thinking and discussing what we like and don't like. Next week we will put it all together and create our own Churches. It will be exciting to see what the students come up with!

We all have our own definition of 'Church,' What's yours?

Love and prayers from the youth room,



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