I started feeling like God was calling me to start a church about a year and a half ago. It's hard to believe that so much time has passed. At times I have felt like I had already failed because, after all those months, we still don't have a building and a big crowd of people. As I look back on it now, I realize that God was using that time to take me on an important journey. I had to get beyond what I thought church was supposed to be so that could connect with what the Bible said it is supposed to be. So for the past 18 months or so, I have studied what the Bible had to say about what church is and what it is supposed to do. I also spent much time in prayer, read many other books, and talked with a great many people about church.
Through that God made some things very clear.
What church IS. There are many things that church IS. When we study the New Testament we find the word “church” used to describe people. Specifically, it refers to all people who have accepted Christ. In other places it refers to church as a gathering of these people. In some instances it refers to a local body or Christians. Jesus called said that the church was a light to the world. Clearly there are many things that the church IS.
What church is NOT. While there are many things that the church IS, there is at least one thing that the church is NOW… a building.
Can you be a church TODAY without a building? Throughout the New and Old Testaments we see where a gathering place for worship was important. The nation of Israel carried their worship space with them as they travelled through the wilderness. God gave specific instructions as to how it was to be built and then had those instructions recorded in the Bible. In the New Testament we see where Jesus, Paul, and Peter all spoke in the synagogue or the temple. However, nowhere do I see where the church WAS the building. Neither do I read any requirement for having a building in order to be a local church.
In fact, in the New Testament we see multiple references to the church gathering in people's homes. One of Jesus' most famous miracles occurred while He was preaching in a home. Some even believe this having been his own home. (1) in another instance we see where Paul references the church to meets in the home of a couple named Priscilla and Aquila.(2) Paul once preached so long in a home that a yong man fell asleep in a second story window and died. Paul raised him from the dead and continued to preach.(3) It seems clear to me that you can be a church without a building.
But, what does it look like to be a church without a building?
If I’m honest I don’t, yet, know exactly what it looks like to be a church without a building. However, as we continue to move forward I will be sharing what I think it looks like for Journey Church.
1.) Mark 2:1-12
2.) 1 Corinthias 16:19
3.) Acts 20:7-12