To me Church is a group of people. When we get together, or ‘assemble ourselves together’, it is for a time of fellowship, fun, eating and getting to know one another.
As far as I’m concerned, the traditional view of church, which is a building we go to on a particular day at a set time and sit and listen, is not what Jesus meant when he talked about building his Church.
My wife and I were part of the organized church for years and years, and although there were a lot of good experiences and friendships made, it is not what I would consider the true Church.
When we get together with other believers, maybe only two or three, the Church has assembled. This can be at someone’s home, at a restaurant, in a park, or anywhere we are able to spend some time together.
Since the Spirit of God lives within us, He is always with us, no matter where we may be, no matter what day or time it is, and no matter if there is a set agenda, singing or sermon to be preached.
Church is you and me. It happens anywhere, anytime. My wife and I have had more meaningful fellowship in the past couple years of being out of the organized church, and just meeting with others as God leads. We may have dinner and talk about what God is doing, we may pray for one another, we may sing a song or two, or we may just talk about things in general, laughing, and getting to know one another better.
I know there are a lot of people who attend a regular ‘church’ service each week, and there is nothing wrong with it. Although for my wife and me, we came to be very dissatisfied with the normal gathering each week, listening to one person talk and going home without hardly a handshake from others.
The Spirit of God is our teacher and each of us are equal participants in the Kingdom of God. We each have something to say that the Spirit can use to encourage others. It has been so much more meaningful for us to be in a group where everyone gets to talk, pray, encourage and build up one another.
I know many who are in the traditional church who do not agree with this, but for my wife and me, we would not want to go back into the organized church setting. Things outside the walls have been so much better, and we have enjoyed much closer fellowship with those God brings into our lives.
So, I guess the best thing is for all of us, inside or outside the walls of religion, is to accept each other the way we are and let God do any teaching or changing that needs to be done. Rather than look down on one group or the other, accept the fact that what we do, we do for God. We want to learn from Him and enjoy the gift of Grace He provided. Let’s love and accept one another no matter what we do or do not do on Sundays.