In my life I have come to understand that there is a difference between being and doing. Often we simply do many things without discerning whether or not they reflect who we truly are. In fact, some forms of doing can keep us from being who God created us to be. Activity alone is more often or not a reflection of expectations others place on us or as an excuse for not having healthy expectations of ourselves. The result can be a shallow or empty life while giving a different impression on the surface.
Churches go through the same dilemma. We speak of going to church or doing ministry. Do showing up (even faithfully) and engaging in a ministry activity constitute being the church that God created us to be?
Recently churches and leaders have been using this challenge: STOP going to church. They are not advocating forsaking of the assembling of ourselves together. They are challenging us to be more concerned with fulfilling/living out our purpose as the scriptures describe it than with showing up for services on Sunday morning.
Rainer and Rainer describe who the church is – it is a community, it is an interdependent Body out of which we do ministry. We encourage one another, discipline one another, equip one another, support one another not because they are godly activities but because it is what it means to be the community of Jesus Christ. If our activities, our schedules, our priorities keep us from being that community – we have stopped truly being the church except in name.