Friday Thoughts: Who is the Church?

Who is the church?

holy-crossSome variation of this question is often asked of ordination candidates. How would you answer this question?

Would your answer give a physical location?Would your answer name a denomination? Would your answer detail the who, what, why of a worship service? Would your answer give data of membership numbers, assets and more?

Who is the church?

The church is all of these things…and none of these things.

The church is greater than any one location; wider than any single denomination; richer and more complex than any one worship style or preacher or any other parameter.

Who is the church?

In the Gospels there are many stories that begin: “The Kingdom of God is like…” These stories are among my favorite. In them I find witness of a church without barriers, a church with unlimited potential and immense responsibility, a church with a mission and a reason for being.

Holy Week Services are among my favorite examples of how I would answer the question. The believers who gather there come from many different churches; but they are one church.

Who is the church?


Within the universal church we receive the gift of ministry and the light of scripture. In the bonds of Christian faith we yield ourselves to God that we may serve the One whose kingdom has no end.
— Preamble to The Design for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) —


Content Written in August 2006 by Mike Hunter

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