What is the church supposed to look like? We have many different traditions and styles of worship, but it is important that we pattern the church after the New Testament.
When Moses was commissioned to build the tabernacle, God gave these instructions: “According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it” (Exodus 25:9). Moses was to build the tabernacle according to the pattern that God had given him.
In the same way, God has given us some pictures of what the church is to be like, and we should be building according to His pattern.
Before I list the pictures of the New Testament church, I want to mention two things that the church is not:
1. Church is not a Building- There is nothing wrong with church buildings, but they are not the church. God is building His church–that is His people–into a house for Him to dwell. If we focus too much on a building, we will miss what it means to be the church.
2. Church is not an Event- Church is not Sunday morning from 10:30 – 12:00. It is not an event to attend or a place to go. Emphasizing church as an event takes away from the organic nature of what the New Testament church is supposed to look like. It is not that you cannot have scheduled times of assembling together. But the emphasis should be on being the church instead of going to church.
Below is a list of four pictures of the New Testament church. Each one links to a full article that gives a description of the picture: