A mother once asked her child if he knew what a church was.  With a big smile on his face he replied, “Yes, Mommy, that’s easy.  The church is where God lives.”

That the church is where God lives is true, if we don’t equate the church with the building.  The church is the body of Christ.  It is the community of believers in which the presence of God dwells.  We regularly come together in a building often called a church, but the church itself is the people of God purchased by the precious blood of Jesus.

The church is often belittled and ridiculed in our culture.  Considering some of the wacky leaders that have popped up over the years, I guess some of it is deserved.  But the church is important.  The church matters.  The church was established by Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18).  Jesus died on behalf of His church (Ephesians 5:25).

Over the next few weeks this column will focus on the importance of the church – not the building, but the church universal and the church local.  The hope is that God’s people will develop a greater understanding just what the church is and why it is important to the plan of God in this world.

I am grateful that God does not make us Lone Ranger Christians, but places us into the body of Christ.  May God give us a new appreciation for His church and a renewed passion to be part of it.

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