Talking About the Church

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The purpose of a church is to help people live a life of religion. Worshiping the Lord and gathering with people who share our beliefs can help us grow spiritually. When we talk about this kind of church, we are usually referring to a building, or a congregation. But we can also talk about a church as a person’s relationship with the Lord. This is a spiritual church—the Lord’s kingdom on earth.

Key ideas that we can teach children about the church

At first, children think about a church as a place to worship the Lord. later, they can learn how people become part of the Lord’s church as they grow spiritually. The Lord sees us all as potential angels. Going to church and reading the Word can help us reach this potential. “A person is born for everlasting life, and it is the church which brings him to this (True Christian Religion 415).

Little ones can be taught:

  • We go to church to worship the Lord and to learn more about Him.
  • The Word brings the church and heaven together. The angels are near us when we read and hear the Word.
  • People become part of the church when they obey and live what they have learned from the Word.

When children are older, they can learn that:

  • The whole purpose of the church is to teach people how to be good and loving so they can be useful.
  • All people are saved if they worship one God and lead a good life (whether they are in the church or not).
  • If we don’t learn to be good we are not in the church, no matter how much we know.
  • The church grows within us as we receive the Lord in our lives.

Ideas for teenagers include:

  • The Church is the Lord's heaven on earth—the happiness and peace it can give you is a little like heaven.
  • The church universal includes all people who live a good life according to what they know to be good from their religion (see Heaven and Hell 328).
  • The special church (or church specific) is where the Word is, where the Lord is known and worshipped, and where people live in genuine charity. 
  • The New Church has the potential of bringing the highest truths and greatest happiness to people on earth.

Resources for all ages

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