Jesus did not say ‘I will build my synagogue or temple’
He said ‘I will build My Ekklesia’
Church is translated from the Greek origin Ekklesia
When we say church what do we think of? Meeting, building, leader, worship, teaching, offering, organisation, membership? We talk about ‘…being at church’ or ‘…going to church’ or ‘…the church should…’ ‘…I am a member of…’
As if it is a thing itself.
“During the days when Jesus walked this earth, however, Ekklesia—the Greek word translated into English as “church”—was not religious in nature or connotation at all. In fact, by the time He first uttered the word in the gospel of Matthew, it had been in use for centuries in both the Greek and Roman empires to refer to a secular institution operating in the marketplace in a governmental capacity.” From Ekklesia by Ed Silvoso
What we now know as ‘church’ has evolved over the centuries but may not be exactly what He intended or intends for today.
The scriptures describe the Ekklesia sweeping across the known world at that time.
That seems a far cry from what we now see as struggling to have impact on the culture and society it helped create.
So what is church/Ekklesia?
It is all about people. They went from house to house. It wasn’t a Sunday service. The church was 24/7
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
The church in the early years…
Was the instrument of God to transform people and society.
Was a people movement.
It was countercultural.
It grew organically.
Right across the region.
The church grew without bible schools, seminaries or full time staff.
There was little or no organisation.
Didn’t even have the New Testament as we have it.
There were a few epistles/letters floating around.
For each other
And loving what He has gifted you, you
Love looks like something
Love costs something
It is not change for the sake of it
But changing our hearts, our attitudes and motives
He believes in you
He has written a book about you
Not in pencil so He can rub it out and rewrite it
Not on a word processor so He can edit it as He goes along
Find out what He has written about you
And do it, be it
Whatever you are now you are better than that