Asked in Jehovah's Witnesses
Do Jehovah's Witness have churches?
November 02, 2009 2:21AM
No, Jehovah's Witnesses do not have churches, per se. They attend meetings at local Kingdom Halls. Each Kingdom Hall is attended by one or more groups of individuals called congregations. At times, due to a lack of space, more than one congregation may meet in the same place at offset times.
In ancient times the word church comes from the Greek word Ekklesia, which was originally a political term. It referred to a group of people who were called out of the community to gather together in an assembly for the purpose of being informed about the ruler's decrees, to share a message for the community or to make decisions which would effect the whole community. It referred to the people rather than a building. Later, the Catholic Church was formed, and included the word into their name. Thus, it became a religio-political term. Today, people use it in a generic sense to mean the building that they meet in. So, I am guessing that the asker of this question actually meant - do we have buildings that we meet in? The answer to that is, yes, we do, although we do not use the term church to signify either our organization or the building we meet in. As previously stated, our buildings are called "Kingdom Halls" because the main subject that is discussed there is God's Kingdom. (Matthew 6:10)
Because of the generic-ness of the word today, and because I want to use terminology that is understood by whoever I may be speaking to, on occasion I have told my employer or workmates that I am going to "church," when in fact, I am going to my Kingdom Hall. I do this so that I will be understood by the person to whom I am speaking.