Jesus Now - Ekklesia

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This page is part of the Living with Jesus Now series.


Emerging forms of Church

You are invited to use this page to develop and share resources on new expressions of church, new forms of the "Jesus assembly."

Etymology: Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Late Greek kyriakon, from Greek, neuter of kyriakos of the lord, from kyrios (lord, master).


What might characterize a Church of the Historical Jesus?

The church of the Historical Jesus celebrates all of life because ...

in our midst, in one another, in our community

  • Jesus is alive in us....
  • Jesus'€™ birth is happening in us...
  • Jesus'€™ healing is working in us...
  • Jesus' delight is working in us...
  • Jesus is weeping with us...
  • Jesus is expending his life for others in us....
  • As Jesus did, we are shunning violence....
  • As Jesus did, we are undermining the oppressors...
  • As Jesus did, we are lifting up the oppressed....
  • As Jesus did, we are breaking bread and sharing it with all who are hungry....
  • With Jesus we are whole, holy, healing and rejoicing at our modest place in the universe.

In the church of the Historical Jesus...

  • there aren'€™t any pews or rows of chairs....
  • there isn'€™t a pulpit or lectern....
  • there are no mediators; meaning bishops, priests or deacons or similarly functioning clerics....
  • there may be musicians of various kinds....
  • there is at least one large table....
  • there isn'€™t any talk about a God who intervenes in human affairs since that is an outmoded concept....
  • there is no "€˜preaching"€™ although wisdom is shared....
  • many stories are told, some are ancient, some are modern. All the stories are, finally, about the power of Jesus to transform us so that we can live abundantly in the domain he envisioned....
  • there is conversation....
  • there is as much honest self-disclosure as possible and self-disclosure is accompanied by as much forgiveness as possible....
  • pretentiousness is not encouraged....
  • everyone is accepted as they are and are encouraged to thrive in their own unique way....
  • people touch one another; they embrace, hold hands, lay on hands for healing....
  • people dance....
  • people eat and drink....
  • the joys and sorrows of the present day are observed....
  • there is hope for the future and it is left totally open because there are no certainties....
  • everybody is invited to eat at the sharing feast of Jesus’ table....
  • i nvitations are extended on the street


Selected Links

  • Jesus Circles[1] - Peter Lawson's book and web site
  • Living the Future Jesus Started - suggested hallmarks for intentional communities within the Jesus tradition
  • National Church Life Survey[2] - data and analysis on church life in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA


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