I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together

Pam’s comment on a recent post and something I read by Thomas Frank put a question in my mind.

I wrote earlier about Bill Easum and Bill Tenny-Brittian arguing that “church” is a gathering of people intent on loving God and neighbor, doing as Jesus did, and inviting more into the gathering. Their point is that church is not about most of the things that come to mind when you say the word. To use a psychology term, our schema for church is wrong.

But what struck me as I thought more about it, is that some of these modern ideas of organic church and “new wineskin” church is whether they tend to drop off the idea of the “catholic” church. Do they understand themselves not just as a collection of people brought together in a common quest, but as a part of a communion of Christians that stretches across time and space. The 20-member house church is as much a part of the holy catholic church as the 2,000-member mega-church. When either one starts to conceive of itself as “the church” it loses sight of something fundamental.