Thursday, February 25, 2010

Church

For the past several years, I've been on a journey to discover what this "church" thing is all about. That might sound strange for someone who is the wife of a pastor, but it's true.


As a kid, I always thought of "church" as being that building down the street that a bunch of people went to. Those people went maybe once or twice a week and sometimes just on special holidays. That was called "church." They would say, "I went to church today." What does that mean ~ "I 'went' to church today?" What would the purpose of doing that be?

What is "church?" What is "church" supposed to be? Is the idea today of "church" something our post-modern, Western mindset has made up or is there something more - something we/I/you might be missing? Who defines what "church" is?

Is "church" a place, a building or is it a people? Is it a structure or an organization or . . . ?

I know people who say they've gotten hurt by the "church" and so then, have they gotten hurt by a building or by people and if it's by people, then are those people "the church?"

Since Michael started pastoring, I've seen many many people come and go. I've heard so many reasons why they left the "church" and why decided to go to the "church" down the street. At times, it's been incredibly hurtful and confusing and other times . . . well . . . enough said for now.

Today, I hear church - like buzz words like - community, family, commitment, etc. What does that all mean to you?

Sound off time! But, please be cordial.

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2 comments:

Debbie said...

Church for me is a place where I can worship and fellowship with other believers. I find encouragement and also accountability in my small group bible study before our church service. I don't always get to go every week as I go by myself, but when I go I'm always glad I did.

As Christians, our bodies are the temple of the living Christ. He lives in and works through me when I submit and surrender to His will. However, there is a verse in the NT about not forsaking the meeting with other believers. I hear people say they don't need to go to church to be a Christian. But I find that I do grow and I love my church family and our pastor.

My siblings were all raised in the same family environment. Our grandparents were all Christians and many of my cousins have become missionaries. However, my parents went through a rebellion when we were kids. They used to drop us off at different Sunday schools. I think we ended up in the Lindenhurst Methodist church to make our confirmation.

I think it was 1994 when my grandmother died and I was at her service, I felt the Holy Spirit and I knew I needed to find a church. I hadn't gone in many years. My grandmother and grandfather had been my mentors in the faith. So I told my husband I wanted to find a church and I've been going alone ever since.

My brother and sister don't go to church. My brother doesn't like to be strong armed into anything and the last time he started going a man insisted he must also attend a bible study. Steve said forget it and never came back. I told him there are always some people like that wherever you go.

Sorry this is so long Lylah. I haven't been on blogs lately as we are in the midst of a move. I'll still be in the general area though. Yours is the first blog I've commented on in a few days.

I hope this answers your question.

M Hastings said...

As a Roman Catholic, I was taught from a fairly young age that our Church has nothing to do with the physical buildings. The Church is the universal community of Christians who identify as Roman Catholics. It's the Pope, the Cardinals, the Bishops and Archbishops, the Priests, Nuns and Monks, the Parishioners... It's the Deacons and the Faith Formation leaders.

My Church is worldwide, which is why if I go visiting somewhere, I don't need to know anyone in the area, or have a specific parish with which I am familiar in order for me to attend Mass (as in, the service). I am in Communion with my Church wherever I am.

This is a fairly important concept withing the Catholic Church (did you know that "catholic" means "universal"?) and so it is one that is addressed for young Catholics, as well as for new Catholics.