The premise of the question is incorrect. It assumes that church is a “what”.
We will see from scripture that in reality the church is a “who”. The question then is;
Who is the church?
Let’s look at the root word used in scripture for church; Hebrew: qahal, 'edah; Greek: ekklesia -
It means - The people of God; the collective body of believers
Many people today understand the church as a building. This is not a biblical understanding of the church. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. Romans 16:5 says “… greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house—not a church building, but a body of believers.
Although no physical building can contain the awesome Creator God, the temple in Jerusalem was called the “house of God” under the old covenant. Even today, it is commonplace to refer to a church building as “the house of God.” But this is not biblically accurate because God’s people, under the new covenant, are now His temple and His house. As Paul wrote, “you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22).
We often misrepresent Scripture unintentionally. Consider the following dialog from one believer to another:
“Faith Community, down on the corner.”
“Oh, the little white one? I love the gardens out front.”
“Yeah, it could really use a new paint job, though.”
Let’s look at several verses of scripture;
48 However, the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says, 49 Heaven [is] My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What [kind of] house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest?
24 And by this we know and understand and have the proof that He [really] lives and makes His home in us: by the [Holy] Spirit Whom He has given us.
20 it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me.
22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.
It is also clear that God lives within the believer.
You and I ARE the church.
5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.
Church is not a conversation.
Church is not a commitment.
Church is not the “house of God.”
And if you are struggling you better go to Jesus.
Church isn’t a building.
Church is what you do. Church is who you are.
Church is the human outworking of the person of Jesus Christ.
Let’s not go to Church, let’s be the Church.“
- Bridget Willard