I’ve been wondering what you might call a community of followers of Jesus if you didn’t want to use the word church.
In my daily prayers, I’m reading the book that I know as Ecclesiastes – part of the wisdom literature of the First Testament.
In Hebrew, the title of book is ‘Qoheleth’, which is usually translated as The Preacher. A reasonable name for a book of wisdom you might say.
But – the root of the word Qoheleth is the verb qhl, which means ‘to gather,’ and a more accurate description of the title of the book would be ‘The One who gathers people together.’ (In the presence of God). And our name for the book – Ecclesiastes, also means a person who gathers people together.
In the New Testament, the word that is translated as church (ekklesia) should more accurately be translated as gathering. The word church is now so much about a building, when what we are talking about is a community, and I’d like to think that we could get back to the original sense of ‘church’ as the gathered people of God.
Grace and Peace