I use to be under the impression that I had to go to church every Sunday. Church was where I could learn about God and get closer to Him. If I didn’t go I felt guilty, like less of a Christian, a bad person. I was sure the Pastor was taking attendance and when we weren’t there was making demerits in our file.
It was a rule in our home that we all went to church every week no exceptions. (Unless you where sick that is, I will not spread germs to others, yucky) We would go and sit in our “usual” seats, worship our hearts out furiously write down everything the pastor would say and go home.
I didn’t understand the real meaning of the word church as it pertains to scripture. I didn’t understand that God wasn’t in a building, or that he doesn’t only speak to the person behind the pulpit. I hadn’t yet realized that He could and would and wanted to teach me Himself through His spirit within me. I didn’t get that where I went He was because His very spirit is inside of me. He is always with me, not just in a certain place, while I am doing a certain activity.
The word for “Church” is Ekklesia in the Greek; it is made up of EK-out from and to and kaleo-to call. Properly people called out from the world and to God, the Church is the body of believers whom God calls out from the world into His eternal Kingdom. The English word church comes from the Greek work kyriakos meaning belonging to the Lord. It is not a building; it’s when believers who have been called out gather together.
That got me thinking, there are six people in our family, all believers, hence the ekklesia happens each and every day in our home because my family is the church. When I go out for coffee with my friends, we are the ekklesia, right there in the coffee house. When my husband and I go out for a date, we are the church. Where we go He goes, where we are He is, He will never leave us or forsake us. Why, because He cannot lie and because His very Spirit is in us.
Please hear me here; I’m not saying that Church isn’t important. It is important when we understand it in the true sense of its original meaning, the gathering of believers. Fellowship is a deep need that we have, it comes from the very essence of our likeness of God. Just as God desires fellowship with us.
We need fellowship with him and each other. We need encouragement, relationship, and love. To say however, that we need to be in a certain building on a certain day is nothing more than making a law of something that was never what God intended. It’s misunderstanding what the true ekklesia is. If you think as I did that to be able to learn or be acceptable means I must be at every “Church Service” in a certain building that is simply not true. Praise God that the ekklesia is so much more, so much better than that. So go out to that movie, enjoy having people over in your home and recognize it for what it truly is a gathering of the ekklesia.