The Functional Church Blog

koinonia * kerygma * diakonia * marturia

What is church for?

Posted by functionalchurch on 2012/12/04

Enjoyed this video from Seth Godin regarding school. Take a look.

I have a similar question: What is church for?

We debate about what church is? Some would say, “A church is a big building that sits on the corner of our street.” Others would counter by saying, “No. It’s not a building. A church a group of people who gather together to worship God.” Actually both are true, if you look at the dictionary definition of “church” so there is no need for us to argue over that one anymore πŸ™‚

But have you ever thought about what church is for? Can an understanding of why we do church help us in defining it? Millard Erickson talks about two aspects of defining church in his Christian Theology (Chapter 49). One is the essence of the church or the church’s nature. We use biblical and philosophical ways to answer this. The other is empirical. This is the church as it is lived out in the world. I think that perhaps we have focussed too much on trying to find the church’s essence that we have neglected its functionality.

Godin’s argument is that once we understand what school is for, we will be able to adapt/change what we are doing now so that we can actually meet our goal. I would argue the same for church. If we don’t know why we do church on Sunday (or whatever other day you do it — the concept is the same, just a different schedule πŸ™‚ then how will we know we are meeting our goal?

 

So, how would you answer the question, “What is church for?” Do you agree with your answers?

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2 Responses to “What is church for?”

  1. So interesting. Thanks for this. I’m thinking it would be healthy to experiment and explore more on this topic, and wrote up some ideas here: http://flippedchurch.tumblr.com/

    • Thanks for your comment, Internet Chaplain. I took a look at what you wrote about this on your blog (http://flippedchurch.tumblr.com) and thought it was great! It is really along the lines of what we are doing here at SEATS to teach the church how to get beyond the four walls and out into the world. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to leave any comments there …

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