More generally, most of what God is doing seems to be outwith the confines of churches - of congregations who meet in buildings in Christian cultures. God is 'happening' in the lives of ordinary people throughout the world. And, it seems from Scripture, that's the way God planned it to be. Except for the fact that the church, being a social entity, is more visible and can organise better.
What is meant by 'church'? The statements above refer to organizations whose members meet together, usually in a dedicated building, for Christian worship. See below for various other meanings, including the worldwide "body of Christ", through which God is indeed working.
"I'd rather be in the mountains thinking of God than in church thinking of the mountains."
Many people have some kind of regard for God but seldom visit churches. People need to be introduced to God personally, more than to be brought to church. Especially in non-Christian cultures, what is important is people's relationship with God, rather than their being in a church. See, for instance, David Garrison's  Wind in the House of Islam. I wonder whether church is as important in God's eyes as it is in the eyes of most Christians.
make disciples who learn from Jesus.
Do we instead introduce people to church
And yet church is not unimportant. The early Christians were in churches. Jesus occasionally spoke of the church, e.g. "I will build my church." So church is not to be rejected. Rather, we need to understand what the role and meaning of church is, in God's eyes. And, perhaps, why and in what ways Christians may have over-emphasised church.
This page, URL= "http://abxn.org/nv/older.html",
is part of the on-going work in developing a 'New View' in theology and practice that is appropriate to the days that are coming upon us. Comments, queries welcome by emailing
Compiled by Andrew Basden as part of his reflections from a Christian perspective. Copyright (c) Andrew Basden to latest date below, but you may use this material for almost any purpose, but subject to certain conditions.
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Created: 27 November 2022 Last updated: