"Church" is an ongoing community of believers whose primary focus and need is Him. "Church" is a group of people who are daily involved in one another's lives, and who also "gather" at times. "Church" is a group of believers who have nothing in common except the Lord Jesus Christ and a desire to know Him better.
"Church" is very costly, it is NOT casual, NOR convienient, and it does NOT do a very good job of meeeting my needs. "Church" is NOT a place where I agree with everyone. "Church" is NOT a place where people with a common disposition to mine comfort me about my conflicts with others. It is where we find Him.... sometimes because of each other, and sometimes despite each other.
"Church" is NOT a loose network of all my christian friends and contacts. "Church" is NOT the very true fact that all christians everywhere are part of His larger "Body". "Church" is a local, together-y, group-y, mess-y attempt by God to pull me out of my self-worship.
"Church" is NOT a meeting once a week in a living room or auditorium. "Church" is NOT a building, a concept, a mission, a duty, or a portion of my christian checklist. "Church" is NOT a collection of various spiritual and/or group activities I frequently take part in.
"Church" is a GROUP thing. "Church" is the Body of Christ.
"Church" is inseperable from Christ. (Or at least ought to be!) "Church" is the Father's House, and the natural homing beacon of my God-breathed spirit! "Church" is my lifeline, my connection to other dwelling places where HE is. "Church" is made of many mansions where He dwells. "Church" is made of many living stones... but these stones were made for being built with...
He wants a Living House of Stones! And the "assembling" process is more than the fact that we gather. And it's more than some Ultimate Truth, or perspective. There is both a deeper AND a more practical "assembling" that He calls us to. There is a "building-together" that out-lasts, out-costs and out-shines all our many, brief "assembling" times. He goes through a process of chiselling and fitting US together, locally, in the Body! He Builds Us Up! He Builds His House!
Of course He IS building His House in Eternity, of all living stones, everywhere! BUT HE IS ALSO building His House ON EARTH, WHEN A GROUP gathers UNTO HIM, and LINGERS, abiding for His Purpose, for HIS Construction Project. A Group that gives Themselves for Him to Build His "Church" with.
"Church" is HIM-IN-US, living together, moving together, seeking together, building together. Christ building up Christ! The Glory of the Ages!
"Church" is NOT a place where individuals can "get" some fellowship so we can each get re-charged-up for living the 'mission' of a good, solo-christian life.
"Church" is a together-thing... many christians in an ongoing, humbling, often humiliating, full-of-failure, spiritual adventure where no human-head ever dominates, but where JESUS CHRIST gets to be HEAD!!! A living and active pursuit of Him, not by you and you and you and you and you and me, all seperately... but by an "US".
That's the "church" I see in the pages of the New Testament, and that's the "church" I've been blessed to know for some time...
And I was lost until I found this Home.