I am probably too obsessed with this...

I know I am probably too obsessed with this, but referring to the church as a building makes me want to dig my heart out of my chest with a spoon. I always try to say that I was "with the church" on a Sunday rather than "at church" because, obviously, the church isn't a place: it is a living body made up of people. Taking this one step further, I refer to the main place where we gather in the church's building (or meeting house) as the auditorium. I know this is not a perfect word but it sounds a lot better than "really big room" and is more theologically correct than sanctuary. I am God's sanctuary like every other blood-bought believer and no room, in an of itself, is.

Well, I also have a hard time with calling the auditorium or building a "worship center". I know that this is not quite the same as calling it a sanctuary, but to me it sets the building apart a bit more than it needs to be and confers on it something that it has no business possessing. Again, I see my heart (and the hearts of all the saints) as worship centers. I could see it called "one place of worship" or maybe even "a place of worship" because I can easily say that my workplace or even my bed is a place of worship. In other words it is a place where I worship God. Could I call my desk at work a worship center? I have a harder time with that just given the fact that it sounds funny to me and also in light of what I shared before: my heart is a worship center where I worship in various places. You know...like an auditorium.

I hope this is not seen as too much parsing of words. Words have meaning and I misuse them just as much as anyone. I have just had my perspective on worship radically changed through the church I worship with these past couple of years and I want how I explain or talk about worship to reflect that reality.

Comments

  1. Mark -
    I don't like "sanctuary" for sure... I also don't like "auditorium" - as it simply indicates a "lecture hall" - or a place to hear a speech... Sundays are much more than that.

    I choose "Worship Center" primarily because it is the primary location where we gather as a large group to worship God. Not a perfect phrase, but better than "church," "Sanctuary" or "Auditorium" - although I can put up with "auditorium"

    David

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  2. I wasn't sure if you would weigh in on this or not, David. Just like you'll put up with auditorium I will put up with worship center. Of course, we run into the limitations of our understanding and the imprecision of the English language when describing something like this so, maybe, we can chalk it up to that. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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