Did you know the word “church” is not actually a Bible word?
The word “church” comes from an old Germanic word “kirche”, meaning “circle”, a term used in later English translations of the Bible. I like the “church” as a circle.
The New Testament word is not that different: “Ecclesia”, a Greek word meaning “the called assembly” or “the congregation”. In 114 New Testament mentions, however, it never refers to a building. I forget that sometimes, if I’m honest.
What’s the point? Our mission as disciples is not to create buildings, but instead to build up the assembly, the congregation, the circle, the gathering. We are to make disciples of all nations, according to Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20. No mention of buildings. That’s because a building is not a starting point for ministry, or else the Church would never have begun. (click to tweet)
So is the church building bad? Jesus grew up going to a building to worship God and hear his Father’s story. So, no. Buildings can be an essential tool, just not our main goal. The mission is our goal. The mission is my goal. It should be your goal, too. A great building doesn’t equal a great church. If you want to see a great local church building in your area, I challenge you: Start building up the gathering as you are gathering up the building so that the people + resources will more effectively make disciples.