Church — Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house”), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship.
In the New Testament it is transliteration of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly.
There is no instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the “Church of England,” the “Church of Scotland,” of the “Roman Catholic Church”, etc.
We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the New Testament:
1) It is translated “assembly” in the ordinary classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).
2) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom the Father has given to Christ (Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29).
3) Christians associated together meeting in their home (Rom. 16:5).
4) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they assembled together in one place or in several places for religious worship. Thus all the disciples in Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts 13:1); so also we read of the “church of God at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2), “the church at Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1), “the church of Ephesus” (Rev. 2:1).
5) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18).
The church is a spiritual body consisting of all true believers, and is the Body of the Living God, empowered to change the world He created!
God constantly seeks to:
o To unify His Body. It is the universal church; not confined to any particular country or outward organization, but comprising all believers throughout the whole world.
o To establish His preeminence. To get us to see He must be first in every area of life!
o To perpetuate His Gospel. God ensures that his Church continues through all ages to the end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an “everlasting kingdom.”
4. Failure to give/tithe
5. Staff burnout
6. Member Dropout
7. Fear of evangelism
8. Little self-discipline
9. No time for “ministry”
10. Shortage of strong men
a. To know God
b. To see God working
c. To tell what they know about Him
Acts 2:42-47 The New International Version
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Matthew 16:13-19 The New Living Translation
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 Then he asked them, “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven.”
§ Open Worship (Praising God)
§ Open Sharing (Building up one another)
§ Open Ministry (Serving others in the Church and in the world)