CHURCH ~ EKKLESIA
The most basic definition of “church” is found in those that are gathered together around the person of Christ. Jesus himself said where two or three were gathered in His name, He was in the midst of them.
The metaphors in the New Testament include family, military, farming, among those pictures that describe how people relate to God and to each other.
The advance of the Kingdom of God through the expansion of the church, throughout the centuries, has led to a diversity of expressions of what the church looks like, everything from liturgical, theological, and social realities.
History has proven how much the world has impacted and influenced the church, taking it along a path deviant from it original roots as a Kingdom relational community, centered on life in Christ, and service and mission, to a religious (not what Jesus intended) monolith, with professional clergy, and billions in financial assets.
The greatest challenges today are found in re-evaluating and deconstructing, and re-imagining church for a new century. All the debates all point to a re-awakening to “being” rather than “doing” church.
The wider body of Christ, Evangelicals and Emergents have seen a variety of streams move forward by going backward, in some cases all the way to the writings of the New Testament, for the biblical principles and practices of the Early Church.
To my own understanding, we need to recover the ways and means of being the body of Christ that we find in the blueprint, the New Testament, and not the history books. We need to go to the New Testament Scriptures to find what it is to be the body of Christ, alive and thriving in a culture that is largely resistant, hostile, or worse, views the Gospel of Christ and the Kingdom totally irrelevant to living in a Postmodern world, therefore dismissing the Church and its views and its mission as nothing significant or important.
Tweaking how the church relates to people within our culture, or finding old historical streams and reinventing them for the Postmodern world, such as the neo-monasticism that is emerging is just not enough. We need relational redemptive missional simple communities of faith, that are in themselves small cloisters of life that connect and impact the lives of people, without the clutter of organized religion, for that very clutter brings with it the rules of men which results in the choking of life, love, truth and grace.
Returning to the simplicity of life in Christ and community, without all the trappings of religion, is our goal and passion, to assist and come alongside those who are called by God, to embrace biblical community life and mission, through simple house churches. It is all about Jesus and the Kingdom, and not about us or our agendas.