Well, Friends, it has been a while since I last updated you on my life and I figured I should do that. Except, this will not be a numbered list giving a slight overview of a couple of events. I intend to write today on one major thing that I have discovered, one thing that is reshaping the way I view a lot of things.
Those of you who are familiar with the Bible understand what the word means. I'll get into the meaning of the word later, but let me first tell you what Ekklesia is in the context of my life.
Ekklesia is the name we decided on for a home church I have been attending for a few months now. We meet every Monday night for several hours in the basement (and kitchen) of a very lovely and hospitable girl named Brittany. We do worship, we do prayer, we do Bible reading and prophecy.
We do life together, and that is why I'm writing.
*cue long-winded rant*
I've found myself growing so tired of the way the American church is being run. It's evolved from a living-together-and-sharing-everything-we-have kind of thing like it was in Acts to the once-a-week-for-about-an-hour-because-we-should sort of thing that it is now. I think people still believe that works can get you into Heaven. And if they don't believe that, then they believe that works will make you "better" in the eyes of the Designer.
But nothing could be farther from the truth.
Church is not supposed to be this place where you go once a week because it's the "good Christian thing to do." But that's what it's become. People slip on their masks, show up, make small talk, maybe raise a hand during worship if they "feel lead", attempt not to fall asleep during service, then rush home to watch the game.
Maybe I'm insane, but that isn't how it's supposed to work.
Church is supposed to be the one place that truly feels like home. It's supposed to be raw and honest, brave and trusting. One should show up and be greeted with a hug. Several hugs. One should not be afraid to ask for prayer for sin or to pray aloud or dance or lay down or cry during worship. One shouldn't worry about being judged because in that place judgement doesn't exist. One should be willing to give everything that he has and accept anything that another offers. It should be a safehouse. A sanctuary. A home. With a family who loves you unconditionally no matter how you messed up over the past week.
And it is this very thing that I have discovered in Ekklesia.
I remember the first night I went. I was greeted enthusiastically with hugs from close friends, and hugs from those I'd never even seen before in my life. People told me I was beautiful. They told me they loved me. The Holy Spirit was in charge and we ended up doing whatever we felt He was leading us to do. We worshiped, we prayed, we laughed, we cried, we ate, we loved, we were family.
Ekklesia has redefined the meaning of church in my own life.
Now many of you are probably wondering where the name came from. Let me explain.
The word ekklesia was not originally used in the context of the church. It was first mentioned when Jesus said to Peter, "You will be the Rock on which I build my church." The word He used for church was ekklesia.
Before ekklesia had a connection to church it meant something else. Ekklesia was when, after one empire had conquered another, people would be sent in to change the culture of the land that they had conquered. That way, when their king entered the land, it would look like home to him.
And that is what we as Jesus-followers are called to do.
We are called to be warriors. Before He left, Jesus gave us a command. "Go forth and make disciples of all nations." His final words to us were a command. A command to get off of our couches and out of this mundane human existence and away from what church has become and become this ekklesia. We are to conquer the world before us and change it so that when our King returns to us, it will look like home to Him. That is the sole purpose and calling of the church. To change this world that we know so it will be acceptable when its Designer comes back.
I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not going to let "those who are called" do it on their own.
When we were adopted and accepted into the family of the Lord, we were given a mission. A mission to go and change things and bring more warriors back with us. Another thing this modern church has done is blurred the idea of what it is to be called. Well brothers and sisters let me tell you something.
We are all called. Each and every one of us is called to change the world and rescue the souls who do not yet know our King.
It doesn't matter if you've been called to missionary work or rockstardom, church planting or professional baseball. We all have a mission to use the platform we are given to bring glory to our King.
Before we named our Church Ekklesia, I referred to it as Nameless. And that is relevant to us as well. When everyone else in the world has given up hope on us and we are worth nothing, when we are filthy and starving and nameless, He picks us up. He calls us His. He gives us a name. And then He sends us into our world to change it.
This is why I have determined that I am going to change the world; because He decided it for me.
*end long-winded rant*
Overall, I think it is fair to say that I have fallen in love with something beautiful. Papa designed something so very perfect and now that I've gotten to live it and breathe it, I am sold. Ekklesia has left me with a passion in my heart and a fire in my eyes that I am not expecting to dim - soon, or ever. For the first time in a really long time, here in Colorado, in all my mess and drama and confusion I am happy.
Because I found my way home.