I enjoy visiting museums and I like church buildings. I never realized I could get them confused until a visit to Spain. I saw amazing church buildings with incredible architecture. They were old, and their history was incredible. There were monuments and artifacts from centuries past. It was overwhelming. They were featured stops on the city tours. So I began asking the guides about attendance today. Some of them no longer had worship services. Some of them had small rooms partitioned off for current members. In most of them, there were more tourists during an average day than worshipers on a given Sunday.

There are a number of lessons to learn about why churches become museums. Who was it that forgot their purpose? Who lost sight of the mission? Who lost sight of Jesus? Did each new generation fail to make their faith genuine and personal? Were they more concerned with church buildings than building a church? Did the church building become the church? These are valuable questions and worth asking.

But I want to say a word to any of you who may be thinking about Jesus and church. Do not confuse the building with the church. Church is people. It is community. It is family. A church may meet in a building large or small. It may meet in homes. Or in a coffee shop. Or a school. You may visit a church building… but you are invited to become part of a church.

So if you want to visit a church building, I can tell you where there are amazing museums. But if you are interested in being part of a living community as the family of God, then I can help you find that also. Write me at steve@hopeforlife.org. Or join our blog discussion at www.hopeforlife.org.

Church is a living organism, not a building.

(Expressed written consent must be obtained prior to republishing, retransmitting or otherwise reusing the content of this article.