The discussion over at The Supremacy of the Church Local? raised questions about the meaning of “local” in today’s culture. Without further ado:
I am firmly convinced of “local church” as a regular, physical gathering in Jesus Name for worship and mutual edification. The shape and style of such gatherings change with culture, time, and participants. I am equally convinced that these gatherings are sent into the world to be and announce the in-breaking of the reign of God. I am further convinced that there is only one church and that, while these gatherings are church, none of them alone is the church. Every congregation, like every believer, is necessarily connected to every other, regardless of culture, denomination, nation, or any other division.
So, if church-on-earth is always manifested in specific, local gatherings, how should these gatherings manifest their necessary connection to the one church? What determines “local”? Is it where you live? Where you work? Where you socialize? Where you travel? With whom you travel? Is “local” only geographic, or are there other kinds of “local”? What does “local church” look like among a migratory people? Do they carry their geography with them as the travel?
Related post: Is the local church primary?