What is Church?

The Siawi Church in PNG

What is a church supposed to look like, according to the Bible? Most of us, as believers, have attended church most of our lives (or part of it), but can we come up with a definition of what “church” is?

We enjoyed studying the New Testament model of a church in class recently, and thought we’d share a few things of what is being reiterated.

“The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. In obedience to Scripture they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and Communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and their joy” – Mark Driscoll, in Vintage Church

Universal Church: Every believer (“called out ones”), whether Jew or Gentile, who has lived from the Pentecost to the Rapture placed into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

Local Church: All believers at a given locale, with qualified leaders, meeting regularly for worship, instruction, fellowship and mutual edification. The local church should be self-governing (indigenous leaders), self-supporting (finances, etc.), self-propagating, practices church discipline, baptism, and communion, holds the Word of God as its standard, and lives out what they are being talk during the week and in their community.

What church is not: a building; a place focused on preaching to unbelievers or evangelistic purposes; a one-man show; focus on an entertaining service; focus on man-pleasing; or a place to tolerate unbiblical doctrines, etc..

As we plan in the future to someday plant a church; these things are important to understand so that we know what our goal is, what we are striving for, and how God desires, in His Word, for a church to function, both locally and universally.

The Uriay Church in PNG eating and drinking coconut for communion

What do you guys think? What are your thoughts on how a church should look, according to God’s Word? What do you appreciate in a biblical church?


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