#2 Conviction on Worship by Rick Warren

2. You don’t need a building to worship God.

For 15 years we didn’t have a building of our own. But I guarantee we did a lot of worshipping during that time. The Bible says, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24 NAS). God created everything in the world. That includes any place you might consider having a worship service. Worship isn’t a place; it’s a verb.

Trav’s Feedback: If the American church could get this New Testament principle in our heads, we wouldn’t have as many conflicts in the church as we do now. I have started trying to remove a phrase from my vocabulary on Sunday mornings: “Welcome to North Side Baptist Church.” Because that is an incorrect, unbiblical saying. When we worship together on Sunday mornings, we have not come to church when we enter the building. The church enters the building. God’s children are the church. The temple he resides in now is our lives. Did you know that the Greek word for church actually simply means “a group or gathering.” When the New Testament began to talk about the church, they were talking about a group of people assembled together. Those groups just happened to be focused on Jesus. It never had anything to do with a building.

Our lives should be more holy than any mere building ever could be.

I’m trying to get better at verbalizing what I believe. So here are a few options:

  • “Good morning everyone. Welcome to the building of North Side Baptist Church.”
  • “North Side would like to welcome you to joining us this morning.”
  • “Glad you found North Side here at 409 W. Northside Dr. this morning. Normally, we are all over town, but this morning we tried to get together.”
  • “Don’t get too comfortable in this building. We are a lot better scattered than we are gathered.”

Well, you get the point. We don’t come to church. We are the church. And if we understand that, it really doesn’t matter what a building looks like because that simply is not church according to Jesus.