Individual or group, business or church. This week Tomoya looks at what it means to be an organization—buildings, programs, and membership, or individuals, teachings, and spirit? By looking at these things together and separately Tomoya offers ideas about how to go forward with our church. -Editor
A church seems to start with simple motives in its beginning. It starts with people who read the Word and are genuinely affected by it, coming together on their own accord because of their individual longing for the Word. This longing for the Word at an individual level is what I think gives the substance to a gathering and qualifies it as a church. Everything else that might later develop and appear, such as the liturgy, membership, the organized structure, the building for gathering, social functions, evangelization, and various other programs, quantifies the church as an organization by giving it such a form. What differentiates the individual longing for the Word and the form as an organization is in the causality. The former fully defines a gathering as a church, while the latter merely invigorates and further inspires the former but without adding any substance to it on its own. In spiritual affairs, quantity does not justify quality; "more" does not reproduce "better" on its own.