14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14–15, NKJV)
This verse describes the church as the house or family of God. Our behavior must respect Him and His truth. Other passages depict the church as the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, the temple of God, and the kingdom of heaven (Col. 1:18; Rev. 19:7; 2 Cor. 6:16; Matt. 16:18-19). Notably, the local church is never described as the “business of Christ,” because it is not an economic enterprise. Yet, many think it is, since they set out arranging and operating the local church like a business. To treat the local church like a business shows a serious misunderstanding of the church. The congregation is a fellowship of Christians arranged under the authority of Christ for spiritual service, not for economic profit (Acts 2:42-47; Rom. 12:1-8). Elders are not cooperate board members; they are overseers of souls (Acts 20:28-32). Its funds are collected by freewill giving, not by business endeavors (1 Cor. 16:1-2). The treasury belongs to the Lord for His authorized work. It does not belong to the elders, the preacher, or the members (Acts 4:34-5:4). The church is the pillar and ground of the truth; not a laboratory of “best practices” determined by the business world and the wisdom of men.