I spoke this past Sunday on The Church. Hear it here!
The word CHURCH actually goes back to the OT in Exodus when God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. In Deuteronomy 4:10—Moses recounts God’s directions to ASSEMBLE THE PEOPLE-it’s the same Hebrew word that is used in the NT=ECCELSIA : A called out people, a body of people who accept and believe God’s invitation to worship him, follow him and engage in the mission in life together (and helping others to do the same).
I break it down like this:
CHURCH: PEOPLE CALLED OUT-(not a building).
PEOPLE: A GROUP, COMMUNITY, FELLOWSHIP (each person individually gifted and called to be a part of the whole).
CALLED: LOVED AND INVITED BY GOD TO WORSHIP (all are invited but not all will accept).
OUT-TO A PURPOSE (to know and worship God and help others do the same) AND MISSION (to bless/show compassion).
I talked about how this PEOPLE CALLED OUT were responsible for changing the world. I used examples of how God's people started mission movements, hospitals, impacted music, art, and civil rights, etc. In recounting the church's history I falsely (unintentionally) credited the Brady Bunch Mom, FLORENCE HENDERSON, as the founder of modern-day nursing, not..
who actually did. I had her right name in my notes and even mentally had it on my brain as one of my best friends has the same last name. UG. Oh well, thankfully two people came up to me and let me know the blunder, and it had me rolling around on the ground laughing. Why was Carol Brady on my mind? I have no idea. The legitimate info I got from a book Gary Gaddini loaned me called, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? An easy read for anyone wanting to know more about Christian history. I like that it didn't leave out the "sins of the church," either. It's an honest depiction that reminded me God chooses broken sin-prone people to do his will. That's what stokes me on the church. God chooses US-regular, broken, ordinary PEOPLE to infuse us with his Holy Spirit power and CALLS us loved and chosen to an unstoppable mission OUT in the world. God grow your church to expand your kingdom.