This is the promised article from about … 10 minutes ago!
The link to the full article is here. It’ s the off ramp – my new favorite website!!
In fact, there are some comments and thoughts here that hark back to the article on the new digital era that drew a fair whack of comments (including one from the book I quoted in the post – now I really feel like I am being watched, careful what you say!!)
An extract to make you want more…
Now this theological difference finds expression in practical ways through our common ideas, language and practices about church. For example, church is typically defined in one of several ways.
Church as a place: For many people, church is a place you go. It is a facility, a campus or a building. The common phrase, “I’m going to church” summarizes this view. When a person is at the building or facility, they are at church. The implication is that when they are not at the building, they are not at church.
Church as an event or spiritual activities: For others, church is something that happens. Church is defined by worship services, Bible studies, prayer meetings or other ministries. Again the implication is that when one is not engaged in one of these events or activities, they are no longer doing or having church.
Church as associated with a person: For others, church is an organization associated with a pastor or Christian leader. For example, people often say things like, “I go to Chuck Smith’s church” or “I attend Jack Hayford’s church.”
Church as offering programs or services: For others, church is determined by what the organization offers to meet needs such as youth programs, music programs, marriage groups, fellowship, discipleship, mission opportunities, etc.
However, in a missional community, the church is God’s sent people. That means when everything is stripped away – the building, the events, the activities, the leaders, and other identifying markers for the church – the people are the church and church is the people. Therefore, wherever God’s people are corporately or individually, there is the church. Church is at home, in the car, in the restaurant, the beach – wherever God’s people find themselves in their daily lives.