April 12, 2022

What’s Church?

Many distinct meanings: which one's yours?


A little more than a year ago (AR, March 2021) we asked what you thought of church and change. A lot of your answers then involved individualized reflections about what or how church should be. The discussion was lively: you wanted to do more of it. This issue’s question opens the door to that “more.” So here’s an edited selection of your responses to a simple query: “What’s church?”

Church means my family in Christ. The church building is our Father’s (God’s) house, where we meet together to do His will, whatever our Father’s will is.

Louise Gibson Addy, Realtor, Maryland

Church: a family of like­-minded, caring believers, supporting each other on the journey to heaven.

Sherla Mason, Modern languages teacher, Questelles, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)

Church: the community of believers, a shoulder to lean on in troublesome times, a beacon of hope for the future.

Rhonda Morgan, Teacher, Prospect, SVG

Church means fellowship, love, belonging, learning together.

Gloria Farrell, Retired teacher, North Carolina

Church is a building where people get together to worship and fellowship, no matter where.

Sarah Scott, Middle school math teacher, California

Church affords the opportunity to encourage and empower; it’s spiritually energizing.

Desrie Richards, Education officer, Pembroke, SVG

Church may be a structure where people gather in the company of like believers experiencing inclusiveness, friendship, love, and security as we worship our Lord and Creator.

Ann Laurence, Nurse, Retired, Maryland

Church is a building where Christians gather together for worship and fellowship.

L. K., Licensed clinical therapist, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Church: a place for spiritual enrichment, fellow­ship, physical and spiritual support, and corpo­rate worship.

Anncelma Allen, Teacher, Chauncey, SVG

For me the church is invisible; a safe environ­ment. But I stress this very strongly: it is not a place to show off how great you are because of how many scriptures you know; and it’s not some kind of contest.

Anonymous, Canada

The church provides spiritual stability to its members. The COVID pandemic demonstrates that church can do much more as its activities expand beyond its walls.

Ashley, Engineer, Educator, Consultant, Alabama

Church is community. A place of friends and fel­low pilgrims supporting each other through life and toward righteousness.

Andwele Worrell, Architect, Maryland

Church is what happens when we get together to study God’s Word, to do community service together—in a building; on the beach.

Isaac Garcia, Contractor, Florida

Just walking through the doors brings you closer to God. We’re making time for God and allowing Him into our lives by attending a place of worship.

David Johnson, Retired fireman, Canada

A loving and caring extended family—if we allow it by opening up and engaging with other members within the community.

Deanna Holloway, Maryland

A place of worship, thanksgiving, and praise.

Raquel Jaramillo, Retired pharmacist, Florida

Church is the place to receive a blessing and to be a blessing to someone else in need.

Betsy Johnson, Health care—parish nurse, Bowie, Maryland

Church means family. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I have family beyond my earthly blood family. We can cry and laugh together. We are striving to stay together in Christ here and later for all eternity.

Vivienne Lettsome, Applications analyst, Maryland

Church is a body of Christ’s followers, a commu­nity of fellowship and worship.

Meghan Wazoua, Secondary school English teacher, Texas

Church to us is a noun, verb, and adjective. It embodies and validates our most sacred beliefs. It the incubator for fellowship and service. It is fundamental to our identify as individuals, a family and members of society.

Colin Bruce, Economist, Geneva, Switzerland

Church means the place of fellowship with believers in Christ.

Carol Holness, Professor of Nursing, Maryland

It’s the people who follow Jesus; we are part of them.

Marcos Cornejo, Engineer, Florida

Church is people gathered together to live out a life of faith, growing toward the full realization of their salvation and identity in Christ.

Stephanie Grant, Chaplain, Maryland

Church: a place where one goes to hear God’s words. Church commands me to share.

Adinga Findlay, Credit union employee, Lowmans Leeward, SVG

A building, a place to hang out with people and experience God’s love.

Jeremy Satnik, Youth volunteer, Calgary, Alberta

Christ’s house for His called­out people who are to make disciples for Him from all nations, and to live in fellowship and unity until He returns.

Mineva Glasgow, HR consultant, SVG

A family for whom the love of Jesus is the com­mon blood. Sometimes dysfunctional, but by God’s grace always growing.

Joan Cornejo, Chaplain, Florida

Church: a place where someone is led to newer and deeper insights into God, challenged to be the best person, and encouraged by others who recognize their frailties and total dependence upon God.

Iris Mounsey, Teacher, Yambou, SVG