Oops! I would have loved to have seen the look on my friends face when he realized what he had accidently posted.
Every weekday morning I do a live teaching on Facebook where I greet those who join me online with “Good Morning, Ekklesia!”
Many of those watching chime in by posting the same greeting. Well, on this particular morning, my friend used his speech recognition tool to say, "Good Morning, Ekklesia". However, the system did not understand what he said and transcribed his words as the now infamous, “Good Morning Sex Lesea!” He tried everything he could to delete this mistake, but it was too late. It showed up in the post. Everybody could see. I had the opportunity to speak with my friend later, and as embarrassing as it was for him, we both had a great laugh.
This funny little incident helped me to realize an important fact. Many people can say the word, ekklesia, but have no idea of its core meaning. Thus, there is the potential of confusion and misunderstanding around this important truth.
In Judges 12, there is an interesting story of how the Gileadites exposed their enemies. When they were approached by someone they suspected was an Ephraimite, they asked them to perform one simple task. They required them to say ‘Shibboleth’. The Ephraimite would respond and say, “Sibboleth”, because ‘he could not frame to pronounce it right’ (Judges 12:5-6).
The word ekklesia is being highlighted by the Holy Spirit in this season. Like many truths the Lord releases into the earth, it will be filtered through human religious systems. The result will be a cacophony of definitions that will swirl around the Body of Christ. Many will say the word ekklesia, and potentially be as incorrect as my friends Facebook post. Many will not be able to articulate it right. They will say the word, but be void of understanding its meaning.
As I’ve written about and discussed ekklesia with several people, I’ve been able to identify six different categories of people that each have a specific response to the mention of ekklesia.
The Newbies This category of people have never heard the word ekklesia. Therefore, it has little or no meaning to them. When you bring it up, they give you the deer-in-the-headlight look. They will give you a blank smile, and go ahead and ‘do church’ as they always understood.
The Rejectors These are people who simply reject the need for any study on the word. To them, ekklesia is the Greek word for church – end of subject. Those who reject anything that violates their ‘religious presuppositions’ will be considered a fringe belief at best, or heresy at the worst. They are the heresy hunters who feel it is their call to ‘defend the faith’ against any new revelation that violate their religious traditions.
The Thinkers This group will analyze ekklesia as a concept. They will talk about it, research it, teach it from a pro or con platform, and that will be the extent of their involvement. Ekklesia to them is intellectual, not revelatory.
The ‘Wait and See’Crowd There are always those who will stand back and wait to see which way the wind blows. They take no opinion, but rather position themselves to ‘go with the flow’, where ever the flow goes.
The ‘New Fad Crowd’ The Athenians were known as those who had nothing better to do than look for the latest thing (Acts 17:21). Some will gravitate to any teaching about ekklesia simply because it is the latest thing to catch their attention. When something else new catches their attention, they will abandon ekklesia for it.
The Doers Ironically, this group has traits of the previous four categories of people I listed. However, unlike the Newbies who are irresponsive, they become like the Bereans in Thessalonica who ‘searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so’ (Acts 17:11) Rather than reject what they hear, they maintain a healthy apprehension. They are thinkers. The assess what they already know with what they are learning. They stop short of being among the ‘wait and see’ crowd. Instead they are cautious in their forward movement. They sense an excitement as they learn more about ekklesia. For them it isn’t a fad – it is a permanent new way of life. The greatest attribute of this category of believers is that they are willing to step out in faith.
You may see this list differently. Or you may want to add or subtract from my list. It is possible that you may find yourself identifying with one of these categories. Share your thoughts with us. We can learn from each other.
The purpose of The Ekklesia Blog is to provide a place to discuss ‘all things ekklesia’.
The purpose of The Ekklesia Blog is to provide a place to discuss ‘all things ekklesia’. I look forward to reviewing some of the great books I’ve read on the subject, and being able to interview those who are writing and teaching on this subject.
From time to time, I will repost (with permission) articles and blogs from other writers regarding ekklesia. Of course, I have my views on ekklesia, but will openly admit that I don’t know it all. I will state however, that I am comfortable with what I know, and I will be sharing it. I will be releasing a new blog each week, and posting other information throughout the week.
I pray you will do all the necessary things to stay up-to-date. Be a subscriber, connect to the RSS feed, like us on Facebook, share this post, check out many of the great free resources and books that are available on this page and our website. And of course, read and respond to this and future blogs.
The bottom line is I want you to grow. I want you to be effective in the Kingdom of our Lord. Therefore, I pray that you will grasp what the Lord is doing in this season, and when someone says ekklesia to you – you will be able to say the right thing! TLK
Tim Kurtz is the founder of The Ekklesia Center developed to help believers desiring to pursue New Testament values and structure. He teaches extensively on what the impact the mistranslation of the Greek word ekklesia to the English word church has had on the Body of Christ. He has served in numerous capacities in the 'church system' including being a Pastor for over 25 years. He is the author of several books and the primary contributor to the EKKLESIAInsights Blog. Tim is also the host of Good Morning Ekklesia, broadcast live on Facebook. In these daily Study Starters he provides key information that believers can use to study ekklesia deeper. He and his wife Carolyn have been married 46 years and live in Michigan. They have two adult children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.