Friday, June 1

Rethinking the nature and function of ekklesia

In Robert A. Lund's The Way Church Ought To Be he shares a list obtained from Robert Fitts for rethinking the nature and function of NT ekklesia.
  • From meeting centered to life centered.
  • From church houses to house churches (simplify to multiply).
  • From special priesthood to priesthood of all believers.
  • From super organization to simple organism.
  • From bringing people to church to bringing church to people.
  • From performance by professionals to "every one of you" (1 Co.14:26).
  • From program-based church to home-based church.
  • From titles to function.
  • From independence to inter-dependence.
  • From paper membership to Body membership.
  • From "us and them" to "us".
  • From local vision to world vision.
  • From building my kingdom to building THE kingdom.
  • From wall-wide church to city-wide church.
  • From Christianity to Christ (not a philosophy, movement, or religion, but JESUS!)
  • From pastor only to five-fold ministries (we need ALL the gifts God gave to the church).

7 comments:

Tim Patterson said...

Guy,

I like the "nuevo look" for your blog.

Good quotes and reminders of the ideal nature of the church.

I would use the term organic instead of home or house... depending on the culture of the people... the church may function in a different environment.

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

Guy,

I have a fear of making one style of church into the panacea for all of Christianity's weaknesses. I do not believe that we can box God into that kind of thing. House churches are effective, without a doubt. But there are also other means of assembling God's family.

That being said, some of what Lund and Fitts have said is applicable to all methods of doing church. It was well-stated, for the most part. I do wish to note that Fitts and Lund speak of being life-centered and not meeting-centered. It would be better stated that we should be Christ-centered, not meeting or life-centered; don't you think? That is what they were trying to say in the penultimate statement.

Have a good one.

KDS

Alan Knox said...

Guy,

In the last few years, my understanding has changed from church as an organization to church as people.

Thanks for the list,

-Alan

GuyMuse said...

Tim,

Glad you like the "nuevo look". It took forever to figure out how to get the photo the same size as the blogger header box. Now that I know how to do it, I may change the header from time to time just because I get tired of it myself. Organic, house, simple, etc. are terms that I personally use without trying to be too technical or specific. I agree, probably organic is the best term. Here we have "office church", "street church", "porch church", "rented-room church", "house church", etc. wherever the church can find space to get together!

Kevin,

Amen on the church being Christ-centered rather than meeting centered or programmed centered. I think he covers this idea in "From Christianity to Christ" in that it is about Jesus, not a religion (Christianity).

Alan,

We are on the same wave-length with church as people rather than an organization. I think Fitts hits upon this with his "From super organization to simple organism."

Strider said...

Cool new blog look. I have been trying to reshape our expat team here and my own family to reflect these realities. My national team is all over it, they are great. Us foreigners are slow on this uptake. I will keep working on it until church in my life is not a meeting but a family.

GuyMuse said...

Strider,

We M's carry a lot more cultural, relgious background baggage to the field than most of us like to admit.The list posted here is really only about half of all the original list by Fitts. If you get a chance to read Lund's book there is a lot of great stuff in it that relates to what we are all trying to do on the mission field.

verticleman said...

The meaning of Ekklesia? What a great conversation. To me it means the Government of God. If you read Paul's letters in chronological order and see what he was doing. To me it's very clear. Acts 17:6-7 explains what he/they Paul & Silas were doing.
They were turning the world upside down. They were doing the contrary of the decrees of Caesar, announcing there was a new King, JESUS. The Ekklesia/called outs ones, those called to be Saint gathered to listen. The Ekklesia up to that point gathered 40 or so times a year and it was as much a civil meeting as it was a spiritual one. They discussed things going on with in their communities. Paul was setting up a new Ekklesia appointing new elder/leaders and while he was doing this he was reminding everyone that was going to be appointed what not to do. Most importantly not to be like the evil rulers of this age that will come to nothing. Not to be like the Pharisees/Hippocrates. Paul was forming the government of God. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is with in you. We who are called to be Saint and become Saints are the Kingdom. We are just waiting on our King to return.
Now to address what the difference in the corporate Church and the true Ekkesia.
I agree that the followers of Christ’s teachings that attend and gather are part of the Ekklesia no matter where they gather. Paul also said that you will not find God in any Temple built by man. You are now the temple and God dwells in YOU.
The difference is who leads to Corporate Church. Please don't kid yourself it is Corporate. Every one of them is registered with the State. When 75-90% of the corporate tithe goes to the Shepherds and not to the least amongst us there is something wrong. This is NOT what Jesus, Paul, Peter, Silas or any of the Apostles had in mind. It's is exactly what they were trying to do away with. Jesus told us who to give too. Widows and Orphans. No where in the Bible does it say to give it to your local CHURCH. Paul also says many will be called but then turn their back on Christ.
My pledge of Allegiance.

I pledge allegiance to my GOD and his Son for my salvation and to the Kingdom for which He stands. One Kingdom under God, everlasting, with love and charity for all.

I fear no man, only GOD.

Remember to enjoy the walk with HIM today and everyday!