What is The Church?

An article printed in the The Squamish Chief Newspaper on July 16, 2015

When you hear the word ‘church’ or when you think about the idea of church, what are the first few things that come to your mind? Some people immediately think of the physical—buildings or places and images that come from that. Large gothic cathedrals, stained-glass windows, pews (hard and uncomfortable pews), men in suits standing behind large ornate pulpits and of course, very large sacred books!

Many more people will think about the teachings that emphasize dos and don’ts, rules and regulations, that all lead to a sense that the ‘church’ is for perfect people or at least people who think they are.

But, what if none of these things were what Jesus really had in mind? If you’ve read anything he has said you would have to say, “Well, of course Jesus didn’t have that in mind.” So then, the question isn’t really why do we have these false and unflattering perceptions of the church, the question is, what did Jesus really have in mind.

One place to start is with the word that our modern bibles have translated church. It is actually from the German word kirche, which means ‘house of the Lord.’ But the word that the writers used in the original manuscripts to represent what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church,” is the Greek word ekklesia.

This word means, “gathering, assembly or congregation.” What Jesus had in mind was that he would build a gathering of people who would believe in Him. People, who would follow his two, yes just two, commandments.

The first was, “Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.” The second was, “Go and make disciples.”

At The Rock Church we are currently in a series called BodyLife, a 5-week series to discover what Jesus really had in mind. You can listen online or you could join us some Sunday as we gather as people who Love God, Love Squamish and want everyone to know this Love.

Glenn Davies
Lead Pastor | The Rock Church