Do you think of church in terms of what you get out of it or what you put into it?
In his book, A Fellowship of Differents, theologian Scot McKnight suggests there are three biblical words in the original Greek that can help us appreciate different ways of seeing church – Leitourgia, Ekklesia and Koinonia.
Leitourgia is the word from which we get our term Liturgy which means customary public worship, that is, a church worship service. This is what many Australians mean when they say “church” – going to a specific building on Sunday morning to worship and hear a message. Even though the emphasis may vary between the worship and the sermon, for many people “church” means the leitourgia.Ekklesia carries the idea of being called out from one’s every day routine and gathering together for a special assembly. From this understanding comes the notion that “church” is a gathering on Sunday morning where the central focus is not just the worship, nor even the sermon, but the gathering itself. While for a few the emphasis may be on separation from the world, for most it is being part of and having a sense of belonging to the group that gathers.