Is This the Church?

Look right through those stained glass windows.
Look beyond those heavy wooden doors.
Look above that towering steeple spire.
Is this the church, or is there more?

Look behind the curtained baptistry.
Look beneath the pulpit furniture.
Look above the rows of organ pipes.
Is this the church, or is there more?

Oh, the church isn’t found within.
No, the church isn’t bound within these four walls.

About this Song:
[Note: In the original version of this song, I used “beyond” in the first three lines of each stanza. I’ve since changed that to “through, beyond, above” and “behind, beneath, above” for greater variety. Take your pick.]

This song may not describe your church–it doesn’t describe mine, either–but I believe it’s a far too accurate portrait of many contemporary churches that get so caught up in the fancy trappings that they lose track of what’s really important: the lost people outside their doors. Lost people who may not feel welcome or comfortable in grandeur. Especially if the membership is so focused on itself that it fails to look beyond and outside itself to meet the needs of outsiders, welcome them, and invite them to become insiders.

King David wanted to build the temple in Jerusalem as God’s earthly dwelling place, but the Lord said no. David’s history of violence made him an inappropriate choice. Instead, his son Solomon would be allowed to carry out David’s dream.

But that didn’t stop David from stockpiling materials for the work Solomon would carry out. Only the finest of materials would do. After all, this would be the House of God, and God deserved the best that man was capable of doing.

Solomon took over this project when he became king, and the temple he built would make even the fanciest of today’s chucrhes look like ramshackle sheds in comparison.

God respected and blessed the temple and accepted it as his earthly dwelling place. He commanded his people to come there to make sacrifices for their sins. God truly inhabited Solomon’s Temple.

But did you notice one particular thing in the previous paragraph? Even today, we tend to refer to it as “Solomon’s temple.” Not God’s.

Is that the problem with today’s fancy churches? Have those congregations failed to place their buildings in God’s hands? And have they dishonored Him so badly by ignoring the people who’re outside that He refuses to inhabit them?

Something to think about. If you have something to add, please leave a comment.


I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (not yet including today’s), GO HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Best regards,


About Roger E. Bruner

Roger Bruner worked as a teacher, job counselor, and programmer analyst before retiring to write Christian fiction full-time. A guitarist and songwriter, he is active in his church choir, church praise team, and nursing home ministry. Roger also enjoys reading, web design, mission trips, photography, and spending time with his wonderful wife, Kathleen. Roger’s young adult novels, Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams, came out in 2011. The Devil and Pastor Gus just came out, and he has eight unpublished manuscripts.
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