Is the church the building or its members?


is the church the building or is the church made up of its members?


In English, the word "church" can refer to either the building or the people worshiping God in a local. For example, one set of definitions is:

  • one of the groups of Christians who have their own beliefs and forms of worship
  • a place for public (especially Christian) worship; "the church was empty"
  • church service: a service conducted in a house of worship; "don't be late for church"
  • the body of people who attend or belong to a particular local church; "our church is hosting a picnic next week"


The word "church" is used to translate the Greek word ekklesia. That word literally means an assembly of people. For example, when there was a riot in Ephesus, "Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together" (Acts 19:32). Even though it wasn't an assembly of the Lord's people, it was still an assembly. So as used in the Bible, when you read "church" you should think of the people, not a physical structure.

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