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Define “CHURCH” for me…

This is how the dictionary defines the word, church:

church/CHərCH/noun

  1. a building used for public Christian worship.”they came to church with me”

This is how the world sees, church:

“A full 72 percent of the people interviewed said they think the church ‘is full of hypocrites,'” said LifeWay Research director Ed Stetzer. “At the same time, however, 71 percent of the respondents said they believe Jesus ‘makes a positive difference in a person’s life’ and 78 percent said they would ‘be willing to listen’ to someone who wanted to share what they believed about Christianity.”

“If you aren’t going to church, you don’t have an opportunity to be informed about what the Bible teaches or what other faiths teach,” he said. “It’s not surprising then that unchurched people lump world religions all together and consider the gods described in them as being the same.”

This is how Christians often describe, church:

“The place we go to worship.”

Here is how I, now, think of, church:

Wherever I am…

Etymology: Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Late Greek kyriakon, from Greek, neuter of kyriakos of the lord, from kyrios lord, master; akin to Sanskrit śūra hero, warrior. Date: before 12th century. 1 : a building for public and especially Christian worship 2 : the clergy or officialdom of a religious body 3 often capitalized : a body or organization of religious believers: as a : the whole body of Christians b : denomination c : congregation 4 : a public divine worship 5 : the clerical profession

If we’re really going to look, hard, into Acts 2:42 (They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.) then we should pay close attention to the words, their context, and their arrangement, right down to the commas.

The early church wasn’t a place. It wasn’t relegated to Christians only. It was a commitment to Him, everywhere, with everyone. My “church” isn’t a place where my fellow congregants hang out. My church is a continual glorification of Him at the place and time I happen to inhabit. I’ve been caught up in “going to church” as a habit of speech and thought. But the reality is, honoring the word church is to understand what Acts 2:42 actually means, and not be absent “church” when I’m not in it

I pray you grasp this my brothers and sisters. It took a good friend to help me realize this truth that had eluded me far too long. Be salt and light, please.

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