The Church is not a Building

by John Eldredge (Author of Wild at Heart)

Anytime an army goes to war or an expedition takes to the field, it breaks down into little platoons and squads. And every chronicle of war or quest will tell you that the men and women who fought so bravely fought for each Sanctuary Seatingother. That’s where the acts of heroism and sacrifice take place, because that’s where the devotion is. You simply can’t be devoted to a mass of people; devotion takes place in small units, just like a family.

We have stopped short of being an organization; we are an organism instead, a living and spontaneous association of individuals who know one another intimately, care for each other deeply, and feel a kind of respect for one another that makes rules and bylaws unnecessary. A group is the right size, I would guess, when each member can pray for every other member, individually and by name.

This is the wisdom of Brother Andrew, who smuggled Bibles into communist countries for decades. It’s the model, frankly, of the church in nearly every country but the U.S. Now, I’m not suggesting you don’t do whatever it is you do on Sunday mornings. I’m simply helping you accept reality—that whatever else you do, you must have a small fellowship to walk with you and fight with you and bandage your wounds. This is essential.

1 comment for “The Church is not a Building

  1. June 8, 2015 at 11:55 am

    We used to have a strap line at LifeLine: “Not so much a building, more a way of life”. Yet it is fascinating how the church-as-building concept still holds so much sway in much of the church worldwide. Possibly except for the heavily persecuted where, out of necessity, the concept of church ceases to declare itself openly on the street corner and thus has to go into hiding, in people’s homes and other locations.

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