Does the Church Matter? 3 reasons it does, with links to past posts

What’s the big deal about the Church, anyway?

Does it matter?

Is it relevant?

Should I care? 

In some form or another, these are questions I get asked almost weekly. So, I thought I’d offer you three posts from my past writing, specifically on the topic of the Church.

I encourage you to read the one that intrigues you the most. Let me know what you think by commenting below, or on the original post.

1st Post: We Gather AS the Church, not AT the Church.

The first post gets at the way we speak, and therefore think, of ourselves, arguing that when we gather, we gather AS the church, not AT the church (read post here). By rethinking our language, it can help us be the church wherever we are–gathered together or scattered throughout the week.

2nd Post: When we say we love Jesus, but don’t care for his Church.

It’s always struck me that Christians don’t get the deep connection Jesus has with his church. If they did, they might speak more carefully about his bride. Rather, we will say we love Jesus, and then proceed to insult, berate and disregard the one he loves most. It’s the equivalent of saying, “I love you, Jesus, but I can’t stand your wife.” (read post here)

3rd Post: Why I haven’t quit church (and you shouldn’t either)

The church is a mess. There’s no denying it. But where is Jesus? Right in the middle of that mess. In a reflection from Revelation, I was challenged by this picture of where Jesus was standing, and where we need to be standing as well. (read post here)


The Church of Jesus Christ is broken yet beautiful, filled with the Spirit of God and desperately in need of grace. I’m thankful to be counted among them, because of what Jesus did for me. And I’m excited to be in on Jesus’ plan to heal the world through us! (Here’s a bonus link to one more post about that!)

Question for comment below: How has your understanding of the Church changed over the last few years? Why?

We gather AS the church, not AT the church.

  • Let’s meet at the church.
  • Welcome to the house of the Lord this morning.
  • Are you going to church this weekend?

What’s the problem with these three statements? The assumption that “church” is a location for gathering rather than the gathering itself.

The fact is, we never gather AT the church–we only gather AS the church. 

Let me confess something to you: I don’t like it when people call the church’s building “the house of God.” In fact, I despise it. I know–it’s an ole’ school way to refer to the church’s building, but by externalizing the “house” we lose something essential. The “house of God” is not made of brick or wood–it’s the people in which God lives by his Spirit. 

The actual house of God (the people) may own a building, or we may meet in a rented storefront.  The house of God may meet in a living room, or gather in a school gym. God’s house is mobile, gathering wherever we can fit.

Where we gather isn’t the point: that we gather is. Streaming in from our stressful weeks and our demanding work, often unfocused and frazzled, to re-connect with each other and worship Jesus together–that is what it means to gather as the church.

Where the Erickson Covenant Church gathers.
Is this a church? No, but it is where our church meets.

So go ahead and steward the church’s building, make beautiful and functional spaces, maximize the resources for the kingdom, honor the gifts given–but don’t make the mistake of referring to a location or a building or a space as “the church.” And furthermore, don’t let the physical space distract us from the real building God is concerned about–let’s make sure we are putting our biggest investment, our greatest concern, the bulk of our energy and priority on the actual house of God–the men and women and children in whom God lives and to whom God is calling us to go.

On Monday morning, Jesus-followers are out there, working and witnessing and serving in their communities, families, schools and work, loving others in the mix of life. And throughout the week, Jesus-followers look forward to the privilege and necessity of gathering again as the church to worship Jesus, to serve one another, to hear God’s Word, to be reoriented around the purpose of the Father for us, and to be sent back out into our world for another week of witness.

Being built up by the Holy Spirit into God’s living house AS we gather is what matters–where we gather was never the point.