Erik Cooper —  November 11, 2009 — 3 Comments

The mantra of the western church is “come.” Come to our weekend service, come to our discipleship class, come to our concert, come to our outreach, come to our programmed event.  Come to church.

And I believe in those things.

Part of our vision for City Community Church is to create environments – environments where people can connect corporately with God, have their perspectives and assumptions challenged, build life-changing relationships with one another, ask great questions, have transformational dialog, interact with the people and needs of our city and beyond.  “Come” isn’t a bad mantra, but what if it falls short of the ultimate goal?

I think we’ve wrongly defined church as some thing we just come to. The building, the service, the program, the event.

The church was always intended to be something we are, not just some place we attend. When your neighbor encounters you at the mailbox and starts a conversation, he has come to church.  When a friend calls you for advice with her struggling marriage, she has come to church.  When that homeless guy at Pennsylvania and St. Clair asks you for some spare change, he’s come to churchBecause if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are the church.

What if the church changed its vernacular from come to church to be the church? What could that simple linguistic adjustment do to the way we approach God’s intersection with our everyday?

I think it might make us look at lot more like Jesus.

3 responses to Be

  1. Sometimes our English language is lacking. In German, “kirche” is the church building. “Gemeinde” is the church body. Here in the US , sometimes we don’t do a good job of differentiating the two. We are the “gemeinde”, an organic entity, and not the “kirche”, an inanimate object.

  2. So, are Gemeinden richer communities than churches? I’m kinda supposing not. Maybe we need to change not the word, but the (uh, the thing the word refers to) then both the connotation and the denotation of church will change. I think that nobody would ever say they are joining a building, but that building and the organizational structure that governs it give shape and substance to the community it contains. So in a way they ARE joining themselves to a building that you invite people to come to, and the program it was designed to accomodate.

    Oh well, I’m just repeating Erik and Chuck. I should just said amen’s to both and moved on!

  3. Referrent! That was the word I was looking for. But nobody uses it anyway…

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