FAQ'sFrequently Asked Questions
What does Ecclesia mean?
Ecclesia (pronounced: ek-klay-see’-ah ek-klā-sē’-ä) is the English version of the Greek word Ekklesia and it literally means “called-out ones.” It also refers to the gathering together of the “called-out ones” in any region, city, village, or house (Gal. 1:2; 1 Cor. 16:19; 2 Cor. 8; Acts 11:26, 14:27; 1 Cor. 1:2, 2 Cor. 1:1, 1 Thess. 1:1, 2 Thess. 1:1; Acts 7:38; Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15).
It is the Greek word from which we get the word assembly, gathering, or congregation. Never once does the word ekklesia (later translated to church) refer to a building, service, place, or formal organization. Simply, the church is people; a people redeemed in Christ (1 Peter 2:9).
Therefore people do not “have church,” “go to church,” or “worship at church.”
Are house gatherings Biblical?
Yes! As a matter of fact, all New Testament letters were written to churches that met in homes. The N.T. letters are filled with references to churches that met in homes:
Romans 16:2-5: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…Greet also the church that meets at their house.
1 Corinthians 16:19: The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
Colossians 4:15: Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
Philemon 2: to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home.
Does Ecclesia Communities have elders?
Yes. The New Testament teaches that elders function in the church as overseers and shepherds, contributing to the overall well being of the body. Unlike a position-based title, the designation of “elder” is given to those individuals who are naturally functioning in this particular role.
Why do we share meals?
Jesus regularly identified with others by sharing meals with them. Similarly, whenever we gather, we identify with others as we eat and drink together. The sharing of meals creates a space where people can naturally communicate, fellowship, interact, and encourage one another.
Historically, the sharing of meals was a practice by which the early Church remembered and celebrated Jesus. Eating together foreshadows when we will be with Jesus, partaking in the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19)
The way we share meals also reinforces the biblical value of family. Families routinely eat together in every culture around the World, and Ecclesia Communities makes mealtime a communal practice that strengthens our relationships with one another.
Does Ecclesia Communities have a senior pastor?
No. We believe that the concept of a senior pastor is not something that is found in scripture. The idea of senior pastor is adopted from institutions such as the military, government, and business models. Each have a top down approach to how things are done. Jesus understood these systems well, but he taught that Kingdom mentality was to be different, especially within the gathering of his church. However, there are several functioning pastors within Ecclesia Communities.
What do children do at a gathering?
Children are to be a part of the main gathering and at times they may do something separately. Children should not be regularly separated from their families when they are coming together with other believers.
Is there music?
Yes. Whether you play an instrument or sing, we encourage people to use their gifts, talents, and abilities to contribute to the gathering. You do not need to be a professional to participate.
How does a gathering of the church differ from a church service?
A typical church service, by its vary nature (ex. time restraints), can restrict the leading of the Holy Spirit, suppresses every member functioning within the body, and focuses the majority of attention and effort on a few individuals during the service. On the other hand, a New Testament gathering of the church is open to the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, encourages open participation (1 Corinthians 14:26) and every member functioning, and focuses its attention on “one anothering.”
How long does a gathering last?
It will vary, however, gatherings usually last 2-2.5 hrs.
What Should I Bring?
Bring food to share with others. Bible. Journal. Bring a teaching, psalm, etc. Instrument if you play.
What is ALL Gathering?
Approximately every 4 to 6 weeks local Ecclesia Communities unite together for a time of feasting and celebration.