I’ve worked in/at churches for over a decade now. So that’s all my children have come to understand. When I went to the office, I would drive to the church building. When we went to a church service, it was at the church building. And for the last 3 years before moving to Oxford, the church building was the big stone building across from Newk’s on Hwy 80 in Clinton. That was church to my daughter.
But now our Church in in Oxford. But we don’t have a building of our own. So when I go to the office, it’s in a building over on Molly Barr Road. And we have church in The Powerhouse which is the community arts building here in town. So when my 7 year old says “are you going to the church”, I try to explain that I’m going to church, but not “the church building”, but that we meet as a church in The Powerhouse. After a few rounds of repeating that every time she said “what do you mean” I realized I needed to change tactics.
To her, “church” is a building where you meet and do stuff “churchy”. She’s not grasped the concept that “The Church” is really people following after Christ. That we, as the Church, are His body. But I don’t think my 7 year old is alone in this. I think that it’s quite the common mindset of a lot of church goers that we “go to church” and even “do church”, but quite often are not near as focused on “being the church”.
Does that make sense at all? God loves for us to gather in one place [maybe a building] and worship corporately together. But we should be “the Church” even when we’re at the ball fields and in the cafeteria and out on the town.
So as I try to show my own children that being the church is just as important [more?] as going to church, I’m asking God to show me the same thing as well.