Reading your Bible is not church.
Leading a Bible study is not church.
“Going to church” is not church.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
Acts chapter 2. This is the church. Church is not a place we go to or a thing we do, but a people we are.
Are you practically in the church? I’m not referring to our common 21st century western understanding of church. I’m not asking whether you’re a member somewhere, if you tithe regularly, if you grew up in a certain denomination, or even if you like you’re pastor/worship band.
I’m asking if you have a “church life.” A living that is characterized by genuine fellowship + the enjoyment of God with other believers. If you do, you’ll probably want to open your own home for such a thing, and you’ll even want it more than once or twice a week. What we do (and what we want to do) with our free time is where the rubber meets the road. I’m speaking to myself here also.
There are myriads of other elements to consider when it comes to the church: church government, essential doctrines, orthopraxy, etc. But I think I’ll stop here. (This is in fact a blog post and not a doctoral dissertation.) May the Church in the west witness more and more the “church life” of Acts lived out before its very eyes.