“Here is the church, here is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.”
What is wrong with it? Yeah, it gives the impression that the church is a building. But the church is not a building; it is a people. The church is not a Sunday event we go to; it is a family we belong to.
The English word “church” in the Bible is translated from the Greek word, ekklesia, which means assembly or gathering.
Ekklesia is a compound word formed by the Greek preposition ek (out of) and the verb kaleo (to call). This compound word for church teaches us that the church is a group of people from all tribes, nations, and languages who have been “called out” from the world to be disciples of Jesus.
In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, being part of God’s “called out” people was never merely an individual experience. It was always communal. Therefore, in the Old Testament, God’s people were members of a huge, extended family called Israel.
In the New Testament, individual believers were gathered as members of God’s new Israel, the church, not an ethnically defined family, but a spiritually defined family — defined by each member’s profession of faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
In other words, the Christian life is not merely Jesus and me; it is Jesus and we. Jesus is not merely a personal Savior; he has saved a collective group of people called the church… those whom he is now calling out to be disciples, gathered in congregations – ekklesias.
What I have found as a pastor is that a lot of Christians think of the church as an optional part of their lives. Maybe the influence of western individualism vs eastern views of community.
Therefore, my deep desire for us for us is to have your passion stirred for what it would look like for you to be part of the “Jesus and we” community that we call the church.