A Gathering of Believers; Ekklesia

There are some excellent Biblical examples of this “ekklesia” concept with the beginnings of the early church found in the New Testament that clearly demonstrate and reinforce this “house church” gathering concept:

“This letter is from Paul, a prisoner for preaching the Good News about Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. I am writing to Philemon, our beloved co-worker, and to our sister Apphia, and to our fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church that meets in your house.” (Philemon 1:1-2)

“Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.” (Colossians 4:15)

 “The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings.” (1 Corinthians 16:19)

 “Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the first person from the province of Asia to become a follower of Christ.”  (Romans 16:5)

Essential Elements of Church

Whatever ways, forms, or places believers gather or assemble together; we find some essential elements within the “church.”  These essential or important elements were the practices and behaviors of the early believers as recorded in the book of Acts. These practices are still relevant today and should be found in every church. These essential elements will look different in different cultures and communities:

  • Prayer
  • Worship and Celebration
  • Hearing and Obeying the Word of God (storytelling and dialogue)
  • Confession of Sins to God and To One Another
  • Practicing the Lord’s Supper
  • Giving to God and others
  • Fellowship (believers cooperating and spending time together)

We  Would Love to Hear From You

The Holy Spirit’s presence in believers is vital and is the main contributor to the spiritual growth of the church, wherever and whatever form they gather or assemble.  If you would like to share other important elements that you feel are essential elements of your “church”, please feel free to do so.

Thank you for engaging SIU through our CEO Blog as we share some of our equipping and training practices and approaches employed with our international partners to advance the gospel through God’s church, be it under a tree, in homes, or on a camel, in oral cultures around the world.

If you want to get more involved in the ministry of SIU, please contact us.

3 replies
  1. shawn
    shawn says:

    Amen to the description of a “church”. If you want to tear down a fellowship and cause lot of division, start a “building program”.

  2. Jim Lilly
    Jim Lilly says:

    Interestingly a further study of the word Ekklesia will produce the information that at the time of Jesus it (Ekklesia) had a specific meaning of being a (Roman) colony headed by an apostle. Their job was to establish (Roman) rule, culture, and the authority of the emperor. They we charged with both adjudicating conflicts and pushing back the local culture and imposing that of the (Rome) the conquering power. You can see these aspects in the only two time Jesus uses the term, Matthew 16:18 (The gates of hell shall not prevail) and 18:17 (bring it [conflict] to the church). I find this helpful in understanding the purpose of church.


  3. Jim Bowman
    Jim Bowman says:

    What a wonderful blog message. I can remember many sessions in the field where we would have many passionate discussions about defining “What is a new testament church”. What did it look like, what are the essentials? Our brothers from all over the world gave the most amazing answers. One answer that stands out to me was the admonition to love one another in very practical ways.

    For example, helping your neighbor to herd his goats at a time that was stressful because he had just lost his wife. Another was a small church in Mexico decided to help to paint the inside of the Catholic church because the Catholic believers believed that statutes (called Santos) in the church would harm them-especially if someone dropped a statue.

    Important and good reminders of what the ekklesia looks like.

    Thank you brother,


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