Thursday, February 14, 2008

What people are saying about "church"


I don't know why it is, but I seem to be reading and hearing a whole lot lately about "the church," and how it's not an institution or a building, but it's the people. I got to thinking that perhaps I could compile some of these resources together, and so you'll find a list below.

This is by no means an "anti-church" list. :) That is, I'm not attempting to make any points about what anyone should or shouldn't do in regards to how they view "church." I am, however, making a strong suggestion that many of us have perhaps simply gone along with the modern cultural view of "church," and perhaps there is a place for many of us to rethink things, or at least take a look at what God is doing in and through other people in regards to "church."

Throughout my Christian life, I've heard many people give lip service to phrases such as "the church is the people, not the building," but below I think you will find people who are truly following through with this idea in their hearts and in the ways they go about living life. I don't necessarily follow along with every single thought expressed in every single link, but in my mind they are all related to one common idea.

There would be a lot of reading/viewing involved if you were to click on each link so if any of this interests you, perhaps bookmark this particular blog post and come back to it from time to time. Also, feel free to provide other links if you have any.

In no particular order:

Three of Bino's recent posts:
Rethinking 'Church'
Rethinking 'Community'
Rethinking 'Worship'

Aida: Jesus is building His church

Grace in Flood: A Grace Church

Meeting of one: God's Perspective on the Church

Nicole's Godblog: What is Church?

Nightwatch: The Church - Relationship

Steve McVey
Lie #31 You Should Go To Church
Lie #36 Attending Church Will Keep You From Growing Spiritually Cold

The Assembling of the Church - Alan Knox
(the most comprehensive blog that I follow on this subject)
House Church Workshop series (six posts all linked together)
Should we use the word "church"?
The ekklesia and the kuriakon
The ekklesia of Josephus
The ekklesia in context
Ecclesiology FAQ (here Alan lists many of his posts on his study of the church)

Jake Colsen's book: So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore

Wayne Jacobsen: Why I Don't Go to Church Anymore!


  1. Couple of things come to mind with milieu that we are seeing:

    The younger generation seems to be able to smell bovine material and call it for what it is. They want the real deal and not just hypocracy. Kind of like a new hippy generation that wants community and wants to tune out th e 'man' (the

    What also comes to mind - and maybe I am out to lunch on this...but for a while, I have a sense that perhaps God is preparing his Church to go underground. Perhaps...just perhaps just like the early Church we will be persecuted and will forced to be able to minister to one another without Christian 'leadership'. I know whenever I gather...I attempt empower those around me so that even if I am not there...they carry on.

  2. Joel, thanks for doing this list. I plan to check some of those links out. For so long, we've seen the phony but I'm glad so many are now starting to recognize the real thing.

    Walking church, those are some interesting comments and a lot to think about.

    I really believe the internet and online groups are an important part of building the church. Scripture says to encourage one another daily. It didn't say we all had to be in a building to do that. Each day whenever I turn on my computer, someone has posted something to encourage us all so it sounds like this online group is one of Father's methods to fulfill his plan.

    I agree with you that we may have to go underground some day so these online relationships that we've made may be one of the few ways that we'll be able to gather.

    You've definitely been an encouragement to me since I met you online a few days ago.


  3. I've been hearing a lot of this as well, since our Church left our building in early fall of 2006. We split up and went into home groups since then. We have gatherings once a month in a building where all the groups come together and do breakfast, a light sermon and songs.

    I'm spoiled with the smaller settings so I've not been crazy about attending the large gatherings. I actually don't like it at all. It's boring and I'm not one to talk to people I don't know. I wish I wasn't, but I have no idea how to talk to people. I can do small, small talk, but thats about it lol.

  4. I also wanted to add that intimate settings like meeting in our homes are much more real. It forces you to begin to come into peoples lives and allow them to come into yours. It's still not very easy for me in the least as I am so shy. On top of that, I'm still not exactly sure where my Church stands on the issue of God's Grace. I still hear some things that make me cringe but I try to forget about it. I keep getting this annoying reminder that love involves accepting people outside of my comfort zone. They are very much sincere and beautiful brothers and sisters, so I don't at all mean to give the idea that they're bad. They are far from it.

  5. Thank you Aida..

    I also want to convey, and it is really important to do this...I really don't expect the rest of Christendom to do what I do, what I have been called of Christ to do...for me it is along the line of the going after the lost one of 100 or is 99 sheep...I tend to go after those who don't fit and will never be embraced by the trads.

    If traditional church works for some people I am okay with it as long as it builds His Kingdom...I am not okay with it if it builds man's Kingdom. I will cut the trads some slack. For some of them they are still on milk. For some of them it is just the place where they are at. I am not the same person I was five years ago. I can only believe the Holy Spirit will grow them as well...and even differently which doesn't mean they have to look or do as me. I simply have to do what God in my walk with Him has called me to do....obedience is everything. I would encourage the brethren to do the same -listen and be obedient.

  6. Great stuff guys! I feel if I don't add a comment, I will be missing out on great conversation! LOL Can you tell I like this?!?!?

    Great links Joel. I was able to read one so far, and will go back and visit to read up on the rest...

    Daelon! Have no fear! We don't bite, but I can understand what you mean. I have a very close friend who is very shy and I usually get shrugs and looks, but I take what I can get from her and enjoy what she has to offer in my life, even if it is just a listening ear! Trust me, I do give her plenty of chances to speak her mind, but rarely does that happen! I am just meeting her where she is, for that is what Father does for me.

    In Freedom, Nicole!

  7. Great comments, everyone, and I have a feeling it's going to be an ongoing conversation in many of our lives. Once again the comments here have led to another post which will be up shortly. :)