There are a couple of interesting new posts on the nature of Church. Phil looks at report on how people in traditional churches tend to contract out the responsibility for their spiritual growth to their church rather than taking the responsibility themselves.
Brian starts from first principles and seeks to redefine what a church is:
As we rethink the meaning of Church for our 21st century context, it is vital for followers of Jesus Christ to recapture a dynamic understanding of the church. I prefer the following definition: a church is a missional community that exists to reflect God’s character to and for Creation. Of course, this definition assumes worship (including sacraments and the preaching of God’s Word), but it centralizes mission or rather gives mission its proper place. This definition also incorporates the core biblical themes of community and holiness.