Here’s The Church

“Here’s the church,

and here’s the steeple.

Open the doors

and see all the people.”

From “Here’s The Church” nursery rhyme probably recited by anyone growing up in the 1970’s.


It’s funny the things that stick with you from childhood.  I think the suggestion in the rhyme above is that as you open the church doors you will see the people inside.  Conversely, most church buildings are far from full on a Sunday.

This little rhyme actually contains some untruth.  The church is not the building.  Church is the people who associate themselves with it and commit to its vision.

Whilst I don’t believe churches should be ranked or graded on the number of people attending, the congregation I belong to have outgrown our building and, at present, we hire a larger building to host two of our Sunday services.  The building we hire is just down the road from our own building and in the same neighbourhood.  It doesn’t have a baptistry, so whenever we host a baptismal service we have to hire yet another congregation’s building.  This other building is on a main arterial route in the heart of a commercial part of the city.  Every time I leave that building, I can’t help but be hit by the contrast outside and in.  The power of what happens in those services seems completely lost amidst the hustle and bustle of life outside. 

As the rhyme goes, “Open the doors and see all the people”.

Maybe more of our focus needs to be directed toward the people outside?


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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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