What I Learned About Church From Reading The Bible

This past summer I read an article that talked about how gyms and other secular communities are starting to fill spiritual and social needs for many nonreligious people. And this really got me thinking…

What Is The Purpose & Definition of Church? 

And why can’t I make my hobby or activity my own personal worship service? If my intentions and thoughts are God honoring while participating in an activity can I skip church on the weekend? What if I am listening to a sermon?

Which led me back to my Bible. Here is what the Bible says about the church and how it is recognized:

  • Teaching and preaching the Word of God. (Colossians 3:15)
  • Providing fellowship and accountability. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Communion and baptisms. (Acts 2:42)
  • Biblical leadership. (Ephesians 4:11-13, Titus 1:5-9)
  • Sharing the gospel mission and discipleship. (Matthew 28:19-20)

The word church comes from two separate greek words.

  • Ekklesia –> gathering of citizens called out from home into a public place or an assembly
  • ology –> study of

Ecclesiology is crucial to understand God’s purpose for believers in the world. Ekklesia in scripture can refer to two different things, the church can mean all Christ followers across the world or the local church and a specific body of believers.

What Church Is Not

In order to understand what church is you need to know what church is not.

Church is not a building. Early Chrisitans met in homes.

Church is not an event. In 1 Corinthians it says that they were to do things that would strengthen everyone present like sing, teach, and share revelations from God. Not all church gatherings may have had all these elements but these are a few of the things that occurred. Church is about worshipping God but it needs to be looked as different from an event or production.

Church is not a business. The church is a living organism rather than an organization.

Before I had kids, when I was at my peak of teaching group fitness, yoga, and personal training clients, I would occasionally skip church in order to hike, bike, swim laps, run, or participate in another form of physical activity. I justified skipping church to take care of the body God had given me and to enjoy spending time outdoors in God’s creation.

At face value this idea seems good. It is God honoring to take care of the body He gave you and there is nothing wrong with enjoying the beauty in creation and giving thanks back to God. God is the creator of all things and he created all things to glorify Him. The problem that arises is when these activities replace church and try to become a substitute under the guise of creating your own kind of “worship service”.

What I Learned

The church is the body of Christ and each of us has a specific function within that body. If we are truly seeking to follow Christ and be a part of God’s church then we understand that God has called us to be in fellowship with other believers. The church is far from perfect because it is filled with sinners. Myself being one of them.

The beautiful thing I have learned is that by reading, singing, praying, and learning from the Bible in church God is glorified and by His grace and goodness I am being transformed by His word.

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