Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What is Your Definition of Church?

Most of my life I've attended churches that met in rented halls. School gyms, community centers, hotel meeting rooms, and even some church buildings belonging to other churches. We'd show up on Sabbath, set up the sound system and the chairs, and hold church services. Pretty simple, really though it often meant a lot of work for the guys who hauled and set up the sound system every week. There were many times we thought it really would be nice to have a permanent place of our own, if only to avoid that extra work.

I'm reading the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna right now. I've had it for years; just finally got around to reading it. I have to be honest - I really don't know much about the trappings such as you can get from boerboomchurchsupplies.com, ceremonies, and meanings behind most things in traditional churches - and I'm not just talking about the pagan origins, which are really eye-opening. Those I'm pretty sure most people don't know about...

The churches we meet with most of the time now do have their own buildings. And most of the time the order of services looks pretty much like it always has - songs, prayers, announcements, a sermon. There are people who don't think it's 'church' unless we have something very close to that. That's pretty basic compared to churches where the minister wears special clothing, candles are lit, and incense is burned. Really, do they actually do that? Too much singing bothers me - yes, I know, some people think that is the best part of the whole service, but I just don't get it - so I can't imagine how all that extra stuff would make me feel. Does it add to the service? Or does it just distract?

Personally, I think the most important part of 'church' is the fellowship, the gathering together, the building of relationships. If your church doesn't eat together, can you really call it a church? Candles, altar tables, and incense notwithstanding.