What Constitutes A Church?

There has been an increase over the past decade of sincere, dedicated Christians that have found themselves without a local church wherein they can worship.  This has created great concern and leaves many with a guilty conscience for they have a desire to serve the Lord, walk pleasing to Christ, and strive to faithfully carry out that which has been commanded.  One of those commands is that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together..Heb 10:25.

I do understand how this could create a problem and it is with this in mind that I write, with a desire to be somewhat of a help, to any of the Lord’s dear children burdened with this.  I also realize that the careless, indifferent professor of Christianity could take this and make it an excuse as to why he need not trouble himself with attending a public service.  Be that what it may, those who want to find or make an excuse will always have one readily available for them.

The word constitute is used due to its meaning; to give due or lawful form to.   What constitutes a family? The world and society would answer that by telling one that it was a man and woman living together with children.  That does not necessarily make up a family!  There might be a man there that had sired children but that does not make him a father.  A woman could have given birth to children without ever being a mother; therefore, you could have a building where a group of people meet but that doesn’t make it a church.  They could have a good form, a preacher, sing hymns & pray but never be a church.  The building might have a steeple with a sign out front designating it as a church.  People could have met for over a hundred years there, grandfather and mother could have gone there all their lives but it could have degenerated into nothing more than a social gathering.  This being the Bible belt, ‘church buildings’ aren’t difficult to find. Some people are dedicated to a building or program and would think it to be blasphemous not to go there.  Their family, going back several generations, has always met there.  “This is what we have always done and if we don’t continue this, we will be forsaking the assembly.  This is always how we have done it; therefore, it is right.”

A church is a group of people, be it as few as two or three, meeting together with one heart, mind, and spirit to worship.  Worship has become a missing jewel in our generation.  One of the main purposes of the coming and death of Christ was to establish, once again, true worship.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
If there is no true worship in a place, it matters not what form they follow, what creed they adhere to, or what programs that might be installed in their services, that place cannot be called a church.

In this day, it is more about entertainment and the excitement of man’s fallen, carnal nature than it is about meeting together to worship.  As long as the conscience is soothed, due to our having attended a service, we leave satisfied that we have been obedient to the Lord.  Are there but few in these days, that have an interest in whether or not Christ was exalted and glorified in their gathering?
A church is a group of people meeting together with CHRIST in their midst.  Anything short of that is not a church.

One of the concerns of those that have no public place to gather, where the saints meet to worship and adore their Lord is an absence of fellowship.  There is much to be gained by interaction and fellowship between believers but not at the expense of an absence of true, spiritual worship.  I realize, according to the apostle, which every joint supplies to the others, but if Christ be absent, there can be nothing that one joint supplies, for HE is the head and all nourishment flowing from one joint to another flows through the Lord Jesus.

It is my prayer that these scattered thoughts might be of help to some dear soul that has a burdened heart, due to having been in dozens of building, but leave empty, and do so with a grieved soul; thinking that something is wrong with them.

Jbh