A couple of days ago I ranted about the supposed power of the Church. You can read it here, but the basic message is that the church is not a place where we go to work out our spiritual muscles so we can make a difference. The Church is too often thought of as a social institution or a special category of organization. As I’ve prayed about this, I realized my own flaw in this discussion has been a failure to challenge the definition of the church as anything else. The Church is not just another 501c)3. I shouldn’t talk about the local church as a local, legal organization. It is not a building, a church constitution or a set of bylaws.
The real power of the church comes through, not because of the power of the people gathered, but because Jesus said “where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am.”
The local church is more appropriately thought of as a group of believers within a specific geographic range. I do not mean to say that the local church is the body of believers in a city, or a state, or a county, but that the local church is the body of believers in an even smaller radius. The church, the local church is identified within a five block radius. Maybe it’s identified as the group of people who get together to pray at someone’s house on Thursday nights. Maybe it’s even smaller and the church is two men meeting together once a week to keep each other accountable to living Godly lives.
It is in these small, intimate gatherings with other believers that Christ in me, can most powerfully speak to you. And not just to you, but to Christ in you who also speaks to you. Then as we talk and meet in Jesus name, this small gather of believers becomes a place where we can have immediate and intimate fellowship with Christ. It is there that Christ can speak to me and convict me and move me and act through me.