“Church” or Ekklesia? What we’ve all COMPLETELY missed about the community of God. | The Overlap Life
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“Church” or Ekklesia? What we’ve all COMPLETELY missed about the community of God.

October 13, 2023

By Tim Barber

In today’s video, we delve deep into a fundamental question that has been on the minds of many believers: Have we misunderstood what the Bible means by “church”? The term “church” is derived from the Greek word “ekklesia”, but does our modern understanding align with the original intent of the Scriptures? Join us as we embark on a journey of discovery, exploring the historical, cultural, and theological nuances of the term and seeking clarity on its true meaning.

The word “ekklesia” was not exclusively religious in its origins. In ancient Greece, it referred to an assembly or gathering of citizens called out from their homes into a public place. So, when the New Testament authors adopted this term, what were they signifying? Was it merely a reference to a physical building, a Sunday service, or did it encapsulate something far more profound?

As we dive into the New Testament, we’ll see that Jesus Himself used the term “ekklesia” when He declared, “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). But a closer examination reveals that Christ was not referring to a brick-and-mortar structure, nor was He pointing to a mere gathering of believers on a Sabbath. Instead, He was alluding to a spiritual assembly, a called-out group of people united by faith in Him and dedicated to His mission.

The early apostles and disciples understood this. For them, the ekklesia was a living, breathing community of believers who shared their lives, resources, and faith. They met in homes, by riversides, and in public squares, always emphasizing the importance of relationships, discipleship, and communal worship. It was less about a location and more about a shared identity in Christ and a collective purpose.

Sadly, over the centuries, institutionalization, cultural shifts, and human traditions have, at times, overshadowed this foundational understanding. The term “church” began to be more associated with a place than with a people. Structures, denominations, and rituals took center stage, often sidelining the organic, relational aspect of the ekklesia.

But there’s a resurgence, a longing in many believers to return to the roots, to understand and live out the ekklesia as the early believers did. In this video, we’ll explore practical steps and insights to help us realign our perspective and practices with the Biblical vision of the ekklesia. We’ll discuss:

The significance of communal worship and why it’s more than just singing songs.
The role of discipleship and mentorship in building a robust ekklesia.
How modern believers can foster a sense of community and shared purpose, even in an increasingly individualistic world.
In conclusion, understanding the true essence of the ekklesia challenges us to look beyond buildings and rituals. It invites us into a deeper relationship with fellow believers, united by our faith in Christ and driven by a shared mission to spread His love to the world. Join us in this enlightening exploration and be inspired to experience and build the ekklesia of God in its truest sense.

Remember to like, share, and subscribe for more content that delves into the heart of Biblical truths and offers fresh perspectives on faith and life.

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