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13 Pros & Cons: What does the Bible say about Church Buildings (2024) 🏢

What does the Bible say about Church Buildings

Church buildings have been around for centuries, and their design and purpose have evolved over time. But what does the Bible say about church buildings? Are they necessary for a thriving church? In this blog post, we will explore what the Bible says about church buildings and discuss whether or not they are necessary for a healthy church. Stay tuned!

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What does the Bible say about Church Buildings?

 A common question I am asked is “What does the Bible say about church buildings?” There are a few scriptures that discuss this topic and I would like to share them with you today. 

One of the most well-known scriptures about church buildings is from 1 Corinthians 3:9-17. In this passage, Paul is discussing Laborers working together to build God’s church.

He states in verse 9, “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” From this verse, we learn that it is not just the pastors and elders who are responsible for the building of the church, but every member plays a role. We are all working together with God to build His church. 

Its-obvious-you-grew-up-in-church-if

In verses 10-13, Paul goes on to compare the different roles within the church to parts of a building. He states that each person has their own gifts and abilities which contribute to the overall structure of the church.

What does the Bible say about Church Buildings
what did jesus say about church buildings

Just as a foundation is necessary for a physical building, so Christ is our foundation. And just as different types of materials are used for different parts of a physical building, so each member brings their own spiritual gifts which are used for the benefit of others. 

Paul finishes this section by saying in verse 17, “If any man defiles the temple of God, he shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” This is a reminder that we need to be careful how we conduct ourselves both inside and outside of the church walls because we are the temple of God. 

There is also another passage in Acts 7:48-50 that talks about how Solomon built a beautiful temple for God even though God did not require one. In verses 48-49 it says, “Howbeit the highest dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what place is it where I should rest?”

Then in verse 50 it says, “Hath not my hand made all these things?” From this passage, we learn that although it is good to have nice church buildings, they are not necessary for worshiping God. He can be worshiped anywhere because He is omnipresent.  

The History of Churches Using Church Buildings 

Churches have been using church buildings since the early days of Christianity. The first churches were often built in secret, in homes or caves, to avoid persecution from the Roman Empire. But as Christianity began to spread and become more accepted, churches began to construct larger and more impressive buildings. Here’s a look at the history of churches using church buildings.

What does the Bible say about Church Buildings
what did jesus say about church buildings

The Early Days of Christianity

The first Christians were often forced to meet in secret, in homes or caves, to avoid persecution from the Roman Empire. But as Christianity began to spread and become more accepted, churches began to construct larger and more impressive buildings. The first church building was erected in Jerusalem around 330 AD, and the construction of large-scale churches soon spread throughout the Roman Empire.

The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, churches became even more ornate and elaborate. Gothic cathedrals were constructed all over Europe, with towering spires and intricate stained glass windows. These grandiose structures served as both a place of worship and a symbol of the power and wealth of the Catholic Church.

The Reformation

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century laid the groundwork for churches as we know them today. Protestant denominations such as Lutherans, Calvinists, and Anglicans rejected the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church. They emphasized preaching over ritual and broke away from many of the trappings of Catholicism, including grandiose church buildings. As a result, Protestant churches are typically much simpler than their Catholic counterparts.

Churches have been using church buildings since the early days of Christianity. The first church building was erected in Jerusalem around 330 AD, and the construction of large-scale churches soon spread throughout the Roman Empire.

But it wasn’t until the Gothic era that churches really began to resemble the grandiose structures we see today. These days, churches come in all shapes and sizes, from simple chapels to towering cathedrals. No matter their size or style, though, all churches share one common goal: to serve as a place where people can come together to worship God.

What Did Jesus Say About Church Buildings
What does the Bible say about Church Buildings

Today when Churches are Described it is usually in the Physical sense of a building, some of the common terminologies are:

  • Public Buildings
  • Public Places
  • Local Churches
  • Christian Community
  • Physical Spaces
  • Sacred Space
  • Large Buildings

What are 7 Positives of a Church Family having a Church Building?

Blog Introduction: A church is not a building. But for many church families, a church building can be an important asset. Here are seven positives of having a church building. 

1. A place to gather together. In our fast-paced, constantly-connected world, it’s more important than ever to have a physical place where we can gather together and disconnect from the outside world for a little while. Church buildings provide a space for us to do that. 

2. A place to worship God. When we worship God, we are acknowledging Him as the sovereign Lord of the universe. And there is something special about worshiping Him in a dedicated space that has been set aside for that purpose. 

3. A place to learn about God’s Word. The Bible is our North Star, our compass, and our map when it comes to living the Christian life. But it can be difficult to navigate on our own. That’s why having a church building can be so helpful. It provides a space where we can come together and learn more about what God has to say to us through His Word. 

4. A place to pray together. Prayer is one of the most important things we can do as Christians. It is how we communicate with God and it is how we receive His strength for living this life. Church buildings provide a space where we can come together and pray for one another and for the world around us. 

5. A place to serve others. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31). And one of the best ways we can do that is by serving them in tangible ways—whether it’s providing meals for the homeless or collecting clothes for families in need or anything in between. Church buildings provide a physical space where we can do those things. They also provide storage space for things like food and clothing donations so that they can be readily accessible when they are needed most. 

6. A place where people can find hope and healing. In a world that is filled with so much pain and suffering, it is imperative that we offer people hope—hope that they are not alone, hope that their situation can improve, hope that there is something better waiting for them on the other side of this life. Church buildings provide a space where people can find that hope and healing through the power of the Gospel message. 

7 . A place to build community. In today’s society, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone— especially if you don’t have close family or friends nearby. But when you belong to a church family, you always have people who you can count on. And often, those relationships start in the church building. It is there that you first meet people, start getting to know them, and begin developing meaningful relationships. 

While a church is not a building, for many church families, having a church building provides numerous benefits. From providing a space to gather together and worship God to offering hope and healing to those who are hurting, church buildings play an important role in the life of many Christians.

What Did Jesus Say About Church Buildings
What does the Bible say about Church Buildings

What are 7 Negatives of a Church Family having a Church Building?

A church building can be a great asset to a church family. It can provide a physical space for worship, fellowship, and outreach. However, there are also some negatives to having a church building that churches should be aware of.

1. A church building can be a financial burden. The cost of buying or leasing a property, as well as the cost of maintaining it, can be expensive. Some churches may find themselves in debt because of their church building. 

2. A church building can be a physical burden. A church building requires regular upkeep and maintenance. This can be time-consuming and expensive. 

3. If a church owns its own building, it may limit the ability of the church to move or change locations. This could prove to be problematic if the demographics of the area around the church change or if the needs of the congregation change. 

4. A church building can give the impression that a church is exclusive or elitist. Some people may feel like they are not welcome at a church if they do not have their own place of worship. 

5. A church building can become an idol. If a church places too much emphasis on its buildings and property, it may lose sight of its mission and purpose. 

6. A church building may distract from the gospel message. If people are focused on the beauty or grandeur of the building, they may miss the message that is being preached inside it. 

7. Finally, a church building is not necessary for Christians to worship God or grow in their faith. Christianity has always been about the relationship—first with God and then with others—not about buildings or property rights.” 

What Did Jesus Say About Church Buildings
What does the Bible say about Church Buildings

 What is the Biblical Definition of Church? (A Place where the Holy Spirit Resides) (King James Bible)( Living Stones Assembled)

The word church is used many times throughout the Bible, but what does it actually mean? In order to understand the biblical definition of the church, we must first understand the meaning of the word ekklesia. 

Ekklesia is a Greek word that is often translated as church in English Bibles. However, the meaning of ekklesia is actually “assembly” or “congregation.” The word ekklesia appears dozens of times in the Greek New Testament, and it always refers to an assembly of people—never to a building or an institution. 

In The Bible (King James Version) It is Referred to as:

  • Body of Christ
  • Spiritual House
  • Church of God
  • Holy Priesthood
  • People of God
  • Kingdom of God
  • Early Christians
  • God’s People
  • Lively Stones
  • Christian Worship
  • Holy Temple
  • Christian Communities

So when we read about the “church” in the Bible, we are reading about an assembly of people who have been called out (ekklesia) by God for a specific purpose. 

What Did Jesus Say About Church Buildings

What is the Purpose of the Church? (God Wants) ( Spirit Resides Inside)

The Bible tells us that the primary purpose of the church is to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 3:20-21). We do this by exalting Jesus Christ, obeying His commands, and making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). 

All Scripture is God Breathed

Another biblical purpose of the church is to edify believers (1 Corinthians 14:26). The word edify means “to build up” or “to improve.” The church should be a place where Christians can come together to encourage one another, pray for one another, and build each other up in their faith. 

Lastly, the church exists for evangelism—that is, spreading the gospel message and leading unbelievers to faith in Christ (Matthew 9:35-38; Acts 1:8). 

Common Descriptive language describing Church is:

  • Church Services
  • Whole Body
  • Small Group
  • Group of Believers
  • Body of Believers
  • Particular Place
  • Religious Groups

Other Important tags are

  • holy spirit resides
  •  lord spiritual temple
  •  spirit resides inside
  •  Jesus christ lives
  •  living stones assembled
  • church buildings biblical
  • building bible verses
What Did Jesus Say About Church Buildings

What Did Jesus Say About Church Buildings

When we picture Jesus, we might imagine Him teaching on a mountainside or walking through fields rather than sitting in a church building. But what was His connection with the ‘sacred spaces’ of His time, and what might that tell us about how He might feel about our church buildings today? Let’s take a stroll through some Bible verses, like walking through an art gallery, each ‘painting’ showing us a different scene of Jesus’ interactions with sacred spaces. Here’s our ‘gallery guide’:

Bible VerseDescriptionInsight on Jesus’ Perspective
Matthew 21:12-13Jesus clears the temple of merchants and money changers.Jesus shows that he values the purpose of sacred spaces, aiming for places of worship to be houses of prayer, not commercial spots.
John 2:19-21Jesus speaks of His body as the temple that will be raised in three days.Jesus introduces a profound shift: the ‘location’ of God’s presence is moving from buildings to the person of Jesus Himself.
Luke 4:16-21Jesus reads and teaches in the synagogue of Nazareth.Jesus participated in communal worship and used sacred spaces to teach and declare His mission.
Mark 1:29-34Jesus heals many at Peter’s house.Jesus didn’t confine His ministry to ‘sacred’ spaces. For Him, anywhere can be a place where God’s work is done.
Matthew 18:20Jesus says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”Jesus emphasizes the community of believers as the place where He is present, not necessarily a physical building.

Looking at these ‘scenes’, we might picture Jesus walking through our church buildings today, appreciating when they are used as houses of prayer and community, and gently reminding us that He, Himself, is our true sacred space. Picture Him with a warm smile, saying, “It’s not so much about the bricks and pews, but the hearts and hands gathered in My name.” What a beautiful and comforting thought

Bible Verse About Church Not Being a Building (2023) 📖

Exploring the True Nature of the Church

You know that age-old saying, “A church is not a building”? Well, turns out, the Bible has some strong opinions about this! Let’s dive into the spiritual essence of what a church is according to the good ol’ Bible.

Bible Verse About Church Not Being a Building 🏢

Clarifying the Common Misconception

Think a church is just about the bricks and steeples? Nope! The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:16 that “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” The true church isn’t just a building; it’s the people inside it.

You Are the Church Bible Verse 👤

Bible Verse About Church Being Anywhere 🌳

So where can a church be? The Bible says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20). This means church can be at your home, in a park, or even online!

The Church Is Not a Building, The Church Is Not a Steeple 🏰

Steeple and bells don’t define a church. It’s about the community and the unity of believers. As Ephesians 4:4–6 says, we are one body, one spirit, called under one hope.

What Did Jesus Say About Church Buildings 🗨

Even Jesus was not about elaborate buildings. He taught in humble places—on mountains, beside wells, and in people’s homes. His focus? The people and their faith.

Understanding the Metaphor of the Body of Christ 🦶

Just like a body needs different parts to function, the church is made up of different members with unique roles. Paul beautifully describes this in 1 Corinthians 12:12–27.

In the New Testament, particularly in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul uses the metaphor of a body to describe the church. The idea is that just like a body has many different parts that function in harmony, so does the church. Let’s delve into what each “part” might signify.

Part of the BodyBiblical ReferenceRole in the ChurchWhy It’s Important
HeadColossians 1:18Christ is the head of the church.Directs and leads the entire body (church).
EyesMatthew 6:22-23Those with discernment and wisdom.Help the church to see God’s will.
EarsMark 4:9Those who listen and hear the Word of God.Enables the church to understand and apply divine truths.
MouthEphesians 4:29Preachers, evangelists, and those who share the gospel.Communicates the Word and praises God.
HeartJeremiah 31:33The collective faith and love of the congregation.Pumps life (love and faith) through the body.
HandsMatthew 5:30Those involved in active service, charity work, etc.Do the physical work and reach out to help others.
FeetRomans 10:15Those who go out to spread the Gospel.Takes the Good News to others, near and far.
ArmsPsalms 77:15Those who uplift, support, and help to carry the burdens.Provide strength and support.
ShouldersGalatians 6:2Leaders who bear responsibilities.Bear the weight and responsibility of governance.
BackExodus 18:22Those who are reliable and steadfast in their faith.Provides support and strength.
KneesPhilippians 2:10Those who are fervent in prayer.The prayer warriors who bring the concerns before God.
StomachMatthew 4:4Those who consume and digest the Word (all believers ideally).Helps absorb spiritual nutrients from the Word.
SkinEphesians 4:3The collective unity of the church.Holds everything together in unity and protection.

This table is a fun and simplified way to understand Paul’s metaphor about the church being the Body of Christ. Just like every part of the body has its unique function and importance, every individual in the church has their unique gifts and roles to play. So, whether you’re a ‘hand’ involved in charity work or a ‘knee’ devoted to prayer, you’re super important in the grand scheme of the Body of Christ! 🙌

The Importance of Community in the Bible 🤝

The Bible places high value on community. It encourages us to love, support, and uplift each other, reflecting the essence of what a church should be.

Verses That Remind Us of Unity 🤲

Take a look at Galatians 3:28 or Ephesians 4:11-16. These verses talk about the diversity yet unity of the church, showing us what true community looks like.

Why Gathering Matters, But Buildings Don’t 🏛

Remember, it’s not the building but the gathering that’s important. Hebrews 10:25 encourages us not to forsake assembling together—no mention of needing a building for that!

How the Early Church Viewed ‘Church’ 📜

The early Christians often met in homes or open spaces. The focus was not on the architecture, but on sharing the teachings of Jesus.

The Pitfall of Materialistic Faith 💎

Don’t get caught up in the fancy trappings of a physical church. Remember, it’s your faith and community that truly matter.

The Modern Debate About Church Buildings 👀

While some argue that church buildings can serve as community centers, it’s crucial to remember the primary function of a church: spiritual growth and fellowship.

What Does the Bible say About Building a Church

the topic of building a church is rich and multi-layered in the Bible. Let’s dive into some key verses along with friendly explanations that make sense of what the Good Book says on this topic. 📖🔨

Bible VerseTopicExplanation
Matthew 16:18Foundation of the Church“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus speaks of establishing His church on a solid foundation of faith, signifying that it should be a resilient and enduring community.
Acts 2:42-47Characteristics of the ChurchThis passage describes the early church, where believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship.” It emphasizes community, shared resources, and spiritual growth.
Ephesians 4:11-16Roles in the ChurchThis verse speaks about different roles like apostles, prophets, evangelists, etc., who help to “equip the saints” and build up the body of Christ. This reminds us that everyone has a unique role in building the church.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28Body of Christ“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” This illustrates that every member has a role and a function, just like parts of a body, emphasizing unity and diversity.
Hebrews 10:24-25Importance of Gathering“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together.” This encourages us to meet regularly for mutual encouragement and spiritual growth.
1 Peter 2:4-5Living Stones“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.” This metaphor shows that each believer is like a ‘living stone’ being used to construct a spiritual temple.
1 Corinthians 3:9-11Only One Foundation“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Paul reminds us that the only true foundation for any church is Jesus Himself.

These verses paint a picture of a church not just as a physical building, but as a community of believers. They emphasize the church’s foundation on faith in Jesus Christ, the importance of communal worship, and the diverse roles that each member plays. They remind us that building a church isn’t just about bricks and mortar but about fostering a spiritual community that helps each of its members grow closer to God. So whether you’re a leader or a member, remember that your contribution is a vital ‘building block’ in the church God wants to construct. 😊🙏

What Does This Mean for Us? 🤷‍♂️

If you’re part of a church, remember the building is just that—a building. The true church is you, the people around you, and most importantly, the presence of God.

Where Can the Church Be Then? 🌍

Literally, anywhere! As long as there’s a community of believers gathered in the name of God, that’s church.

What Can You Do as a Member of the Church? 👥

Be active. Don’t just warm the pews. Engage in community service, uplift each other, and let’s be the church instead of just going to one.

Building the Church Scriptures

Building the church, both as a spiritual body and sometimes even as a physical gathering place, is a recurring theme in the Bible. Here are some scriptures that touch on this subject:

  1. Matthew 16:18 – “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This is where Jesus first mentions building His church, emphasizing its ultimate victory.
  2. Acts 2:47 – “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” This describes the rapid growth of the early Christian church.
  3. Ephesians 4:11-12 – “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” This passage talks about the roles within the church that contribute to its building up.
  4. 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 – “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” This verse speaks to the diversity of gifts in the church and how they contribute to its building.
  5. 1 Peter 2:4-5 – “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Here, believers are described as ‘living stones’ that make up a spiritual house.
  6. Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” This passage emphasizes the importance of gathering together as a church to encourage one another.
  7. Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” This verse speaks to the nurturing environment that should be prevalent in the church.

These scriptures collectively provide a snapshot of what the Bible says about building the church—both as a community of believers and as a place for spiritual growth. I hope you find this list enlightening!

Final Thoughts for the Modern Christian 🙏

In conclusion, a church isn’t about the building or the location; it’s about the people and their relationship with God. Be the church, wherever you are.

Conclusion 🌟

So there we have it! The Bible is quite clear that a church is not about the physical structure but the community of believers and their relationship with God. This brings us back to the heart of what truly matters: our faith and how we live it out every day.


FAQs

  1. What Bible verse says the church is not a building?
    • 1 Corinthians 3:16 and Matthew 18:20 are good places to start.
  2. What did Jesus say about church buildings?
    • Jesus was more focused on the community and teachings than the buildings.
  3. How important is the community in a church?
    • Extremely important! Community is often cited in the Bible as the essence of a church.
  4. Is it okay not to attend a traditional church?
    • According to the Bible, the community of believers can exist anywhere.
  5. What is the modern role of a church building?
    • While useful for gatherings, the true essence of a church is not tied to its physical structure.

What does the Bible say about the Church Building

In the Bible, the concept of the “church” is primarily centered on the assembly of believers rather than a physical building. The New Testament often uses the Greek term “ekklēsia,” which translates to “assembly” or “called-out ones,” emphasizing people rather than places.

Notably, in Acts, believers often met in homes, public places, and synagogues. Paul’s letters, too, frequently addressed house churches. Jesus mentioned the church in a relational context, such as in Matthew 18:20, stating, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

While the construction of buildings dedicated to Christian worship became more common post-biblical times, the New Testament primarily presents the church as a communal body of believers, emphasizing relationships with God and one another over the importance of a physical structure.

Final Thoughts – What does the Bible say about Church Buildings

To sum up, what the Bible says about church buildings, we learn from 1 Corinthians 3:9-17 that every member has a role in building up the church and that Christians are the temple of God. We also see from Acts 7:48-50 that physical structures are not necessary for worshiping God although they can be beneficial,

As you can see, there are both positives and negatives to having a church building. Ultimately, each church family must prayerfully decide whether or not owning or leasing a property is right for them. We hope that this list has given you something to think about as you make that decision.

The biblical definition of “church” refers to an assembly of believers who have been called out by God for the specific purposes of glorifying Him, edifying one another, and evangelizing unbelievers. If your church is not fulfilling these purposes, then it may be time to reevaluate why you are involved in that particular congregation.

God Bless Greg

church

Author

  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family https://jesusleadershiptraining.com/about-us/

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