What is ‘Church’ to you?

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.invite_9075c2_web[1]

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.

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“having a sense of belonging to the group that gathers”

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.

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