Think of the layout of a medieval city. The church is at the center of town and the steeple is its high point. The church's position as society's center and summit is represented geographically and architecturally. But this does not mean the church is the only sphere that matters; they did not try to cram everything into the church building, so to speak. Fanning out from that central location were homes where families lived, shops and fields where people worked, schools where they were educated, and, yes, even a castle or government building to house the civil authority. The geographic layout was symbolic - the church did not control or rule these other spheres, but she was responsible to disciple them and they all found their end - their telos, their purpose - in the church’s worship gathering.

I don’t like the language of the church as the “model” for the other spheres of family and state. I’ve probably used that language before in discussing ecclesiocentrism, and Calvin suggests it in ICR Book 4, but I think it can be misleading. Each sphere has its own purpose and mission. Because the spheres are doing different things and have different job descriptions, one sphere cannot really be a comprehensive model for the others. But, again, the church is the central sphere because the church’s worship is central to everything else. Everything points to it, flows into it, and flows from it. The nations bring their treasures into the sanctuary; life, wisdom, and blessing stream out of the sanctuary to the rest of culture. Again, precisely because worship is the chief end of life, every sphere is some sense finds its telos in the liturgy.