The New Testament word for “church” is the Greek word “ekklesia”(ecclesia). There are many groups that make up the church. In a general sense the word refers to a gathering of citizens who have been called out from their homes into a public place, or an assembly. In an even broader sense, “ekklesia” refers to the whole body of Christians throughout the world. In its simplest terms, a church is a group or assembly separated by God.
It is important for us to focus on the use and context of the word in scripture. Church refers to people. When I use the term “church” I am referring to people, not a building. I have worked very diligently through the years to realign my communication regarding the term “church”. I want my language to reflect what Christ and His apostles taught us about the church. The gospel is about people.
I can speak from personal experience that when I focus on the true meaning of church, it changes my outlook. Both in my relationship with Christ and in how I pursue relationships with my brothers and sisters in the faith. When I am regularly and intentionally focused on how I apply the word “church”, it affects my mindset.
People of all backgrounds use the word to describe buildings, property, and holdings.
“What a beautiful church.“…………. “Do you go to church?“………. “Where is your church located?“…………. “What programs does your church offer?“………… “Do you have a church?”
These are all typical phrases that are used to communicate a perspective that is more skewed than we care to admit. We have sadly lost the true meaning of the word church.
If we are to develop a love for our Messiah’s church, then we must get back to the Biblical definition of the word. We must use it in reference to people. It was never about property; it was always about the people.
Evaluate yourself for thirty days. Try to monitor how you apply the word church. Use the word building or property when that is what you are referring to in a conversation. Use the word church whenever you are referring to a group of people. I believe our words are powerful. As a man thinks, so he functions. The sacrifice of Yeshua was about the redemption of human beings. The transformation of the heart, soul, and mind of an individual person is what matters to the Lord. God loves people. We are created for relationship. The church of the living God is all about people. Let’s work to make sure our words reflect the priorities of our Lord and Savior.