For those of you who never clicked through to the discussion "what is church?" on Jeff Goins' blog, here's how I responded to his question:

I envision "the church" as the localized fellowships of Jesus-followers around the world who come together for the purpose of forming each other in the image of Christ, equipping each other for ministry and evangelism, and then returning to the world to live out those values in practical reality.

I'm not keen on the idea that church is the place to "do" this ministry and evangelism... I think of it more as the context in which we equip and encourage each other to these ends. But the church only fulfills its divinely ordained purpose - to "train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life" according to Matt 28:19 (msg) - when it scatters and intersects with all humanity so that it might bring the light of Jesus there.

Coming together is important. But unless it is coupled with a subsequent going out, the church is incomplete in its purpose.