Although most of us understand that we, as God’s people, are the church, we consistently misuse that term and many others. I remain guilty of this myself. But, the result is that we use language that continuously waters down the true wonder of who we are in Christ and our purpose in Him.
When we say, “I’m going to church,” we are not affirming that we, His people, are His church, His spiritual temple, filled by the Spirit of God in order to take His fragrance everywhere we go. We must regularly declare the truth of who we are in order to fully walk in it!
When we say, “I’m a member of so-and-so church,” we fail to affirm that each of us is a member of the Body of Christ, not a local organization, connected organically to Jesus as the Head from Whom flows all manner of life, power, and privileges.
When we say, “There is a church over there,” we are reducing the beauty of being a called out people who have been adopted into God’s family to a mere building where believers gather to worship.
When we say, “He is a pastor of that church,” we are splitting the church, God’s people, into a million artificial units in our mind which detracts from the amazing work that Jesus did in which He joined us together into ‘one Body and one Spirit.’ In fact, it this unity with one another and the Father that is meant to demonstrate God’s reality to the world.
When we talk about “the church service” we tend to think that the spiritual gifts and power given to God’s people are meant to operate primarily within a building at a specific time. How limiting this is to a broken world that desperately needs to hear, see, feel, and touch the living Jesus through each one of us every day and everywhere.
I’m sure you could come up with dozens of more examples. Feel free to share them here.
But, no, I am not trying to split hairs. Our language, when used consistently, does matter and, in this case, often robs us of the power and beauty of who we are and the work that Jesus Christ did to make us His people, friends, family, bridegroom, and ambassadors 24/7 in every place we walk.