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The Church

What difference might it mean in practice in considering the church as an institution versus as a community? Institution connotes some kind of establishment, a structure, whether it is public or private, whatever the purpose may be. People always associate institution with the word political. The church, as an institution, can be said to be a tax- exempt institution, open to everybody. The word community gives a more sense of intimacy rather than institution. If institution can be associated with the word political, community can be associated with the word social.

Community may be said to be a group of families, closely-related people, a small neighborhood perhaps, whatever the race or creed maybe. Church as a community can be said to be a group of people who gather often, the sole purpose of which, is to meet the spiritual needs of the people and to assist and help each other in their spiritual growth. The church can be interpreted to mean both an institution and a community. In viewing the church as an institution separate from a community and vice versa, the difference lies from the point of view of the person interpreting.

For instance, a person questions the tax exemption of certain properties used by the church for religious purposes. This person, therefore, is questioning the church not as a community but as an institution covered by the tax- exempt provision of the Constitution. Give a meaning of sacrament as it applies to church. John Wesley said that sacraments are God’s channel of grace. It may be considered as an outward manifestation of God’s grace inside the human heart. (2005)

Although a sacrament mean different things to different religions, sacraments, as it applies to the church in general, may be viewed as vessels through which God’s channels of blessings flow. God uses the church as his primary channel to communicate and reach out to people. Therefore, it can be said that the church itself is a sacrament. Reference Young Believer’s Discipleship Series. (2005). So. . . You want to be Baptized?. Retrieved April 7, 2009, from http://www. nph. com/vcmedia/2369/2369939. pdf.

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