What the church is not.
The church is not a building. If it were, and it happened to be destroyed by fire, the church would no longer exist. Since the church is not a building, it is not a place you go to on Sunday. You are the church. You are the church wherever you are. And you are the church Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The church is not a deposit account from which we make withdrawals when we need God. If it were, worship would be all about what I could get rather than what God has done. Church services would be little more than customer satisfaction events appeasing those who attend.
The church is not a country club. If it were, you could buy your way in and sign yourself out when the club voted on a rule you didn't like. Your position in the club would depend on your ability to pay the club's bills and whether you always agreed with the club's rules.
What the church is.
The church is a movement. It is dynamic, not static; changing, not stagnant. It got its start with a mighty rushing wind that swept through the upper room, swept the disciples off their feet and into the streets of Jerusalem and to all parts of the known world.
The church is a conduit. Through it flow the grace of God, the Gospel of the cross and the compassion of the Savior. Through God's church, grace flows in and grace flows out. If grace would ever cease to flow out, the church would cease to be the church.
The church is a rescue station. As soon as someone is rescued, their attention turns to the dying people around them. They want to rescue others. For 2,000 years the church has rescued the perishing.
So, now that we've been challenged with regard to what the church is not and what it is, we can move on to some other questions about the church and about ourselves, such as: Who is near me that might need what the church has to offer? Who might need the grace of God? Who might need to know that there is the possibility of rescue for his/her life?
Grace and Hope to you,