Worship community


Last weekend while attending the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas Annual Meeting, I met a pastor from Wisconsin. As I listened to him, it dawned on me that he never referred to his congregation as his church. He used several different terms to refer to it, but never church.

The one that I really picked up on was “worship community,” which he used to describe what most us would call his church.

What do you think of the term “worship community”? I’ve heard some people in Texas refer to their church as a “community of faith.” What do you think of that?

Are we playing semantics or is there a valid reason for using a word other than church?

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3 Responses to “Worship community”

  1. JND Says:

    Not every worship community is a church, although, as you wrote, he seemed to be referring to a church. Not every worship community is necessarily Christian. It could be Islamic, Wiccan, Pastafarian, etc. I don’t recall that the worship community is the Bride of Christ or that Christ died for the worship community.

    So I’ll get explicit. I don’t like the term. The church is the called out. The worship community is the called in.

    The terms certainly matter. I’ll risk making a false attribution here and make the claim that people choose the term worship community for the same reason they drop the term “Baptist”; they don’t want to scare people off with it. Someone other than I will have to decide whether or not it’s worth it.

  2. Ken Coffee Says:

    A rose by any other name is still a rose….isn’t it?

  3. Tim Dahl Says:

    I believe that “worship community” may give a better label to what some of us are trying to do on Sunday morning. As the ekklesia, we are the ones called out to gather together. But, the purpose is to worship God and hear from Him. As our culture develops, or possibly devolves, we might desire to look at the words that we use to identify the categories in our spiritual lives. They might be more true within the context that they are used. As long as we “keep on keepin’ on,” then I’m convinced that we’ll “keep gettin’ what we’re gettin’,” which according to the latest Lifeway research seems to be a failure of the American Church.

    Be Well,


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