What is the church?

Written by: Bev Edwards - Walther

Is it the buildings in which we gather, or is it the people which worship their 
God?  For if it is the people, then where ever they are is church.  However, if it is 
the building, it is nothing more than a building and it is lifeless.  For Christ 
preached mostly outdoors, where the people were, where life went on all around 
them.  

Jesus spoke in the Temple, to those that held ritual and tradition higher than 
their God, and they heard nothing of what He had to say.  But when He spoke to 
the people where they were, they listened.  They gathered and they listened.  No 
one told them to be silent in respect, they chose to be silent.  For they hungered 
after what Jesus had to say.  For He was life and giving life in love.  He did not 
demand their silence, their silence demanded His words.

What do we do to encourage our church to grow?  Do we bring life into our 
church or is it empty of life?  If we are the church, then we live and share life, love 
and joy.  If it is the building in which we meet, then what does it have to offer other 
than shelter?  

I am not being disgraceful in my questioning, I am wanting to know realistically, 
what is the church?  A building or the people?

I want to enjoy my gathering with the saints of God, to praise and worship our 
Lord in joy and love.  To feel His presence in our midst while we joyfully rejoice in 
His presence.  To do this, is it law that we enter silently and sit motionless 
waiting for service to begin?  What is so wrong in being glad to be in God’s 
House and showing it by our glee and happiness?

Are we turning our church into the Temple that heard nothing said by Jesus?  Or 
are we the crowds of people sitting on the grounds outdoors, gathering and 
crowding close so that we can hear His every word?

What is His church, the building or the people?