Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!
Framework for Church/Ecclesia Building
Think of this framework as a starting point for your community to create your own Shared Standards for building your church. (Framework: simple concepts that frame how things work.)
The Foundations of our Faith
One God: Our faith is in the one God, the God of Abraham: The Father * The Son, Yeshua, Jesus the Christ * Holy Spirit
One Word of God, the Scripture:, is God’s message to us to equip us to live and know him, starting with the Promise in the Old Covenant, the Promise fulfilled in the New Covenant. We grow in Biblical literacy and Biblical defense.
One faith: Honoring believers who came before us and who surround us who have declared Christ: The Apostle’s Creed, The Nicene Creed, etc.
One Kingdom: Jesus, the King, established his domain, the Kingdom. We proclaim the Good News, that by grace through faith in Christ, who offered himself as a perfect sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation. He made payment for our wrongdoing we are saved from dead works, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to his Kingdom, the Kingdom of light.
One Baptism: We are baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ, invited to share in the remembrance of Christ through participation in The Lord’s Supper. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are the body of Christ, the church/ecclesia; it is our responsibility to carry out his work on earth and lay on hands, affirming and sending out others to do his work as we occupy until Christ returns as judge
We are responsible members of all communities
* Natural Community – all people
* Kingdom Community – all Christians
* Connected or Koinonia Community – where we belong, share fellowship and/or responsiblies
In each community, we practice our responsibilities, lifting up a Standard (shared values, norms, practices, etc.) so that God would be honored and glorified by our lives.
The 5 x 7 Model
Shows how we connect and the Kingdom Gateway Skills
The church/ecclesia exists where 2 or three are gathered in the name of Jesus; he is there. Jesus demonstrated connecting in different ways, with the one, the three, the twelve, the 70 and the 120. We recognize the body: Each part is important and should receive honor. One part is not ‘pre-eminent’ or more important than any other part
As an individual I am baptized into his body, connected to Christ, the head.
The key to the life of each member of our natural body is to BOTH receive and give. In the body of Christ, small groups are essential for this type of reciprocal exchange. Think of Jesus with Peter, James and John or Jesus with the 12. Common small groups include the Family, Sunday School, Home Group, etc.
Think of Jesus with the 70. We congregate for ministry of the word (especially to hear from those who are particularly gifted/skilled), Apostle’s teaching (to receive teaching that we pass on to others), to plan/work on ministry initiatives, etc. Examples: Church attendance, Conferences, Seminars, Retreats, Corporate Gathering of Ecclesia, etc.
Think of Jesus with the 120. Across a community, equippers in these key areas can generally be found because Christ places them there. He gives people to equip each of us for service and for sound doctrine: Apostles (equip us for planting), Prophets (equip us for perceiving what God says), Evangelists (equip us for proclaiming), Pastors (equip us for caring and guiding), Teachers (equip us for imparting God’s truths).
Region, Nation, Globe
We connect at the region, state, national or global level for information exchange, teaching, cooperative efforts, networking, service/ministry, etc.: Visits, Conferences/Seminars, Social Networks, Phone calls, etc. Media: TV, Radio, Books, Recorded Messages, etc.
4 Authorities: Sacred, Civic, Social and Market
We have been given responsibilities in various arena’s of life; for simplicity, we call these the four authorities. (You can think of this as a simplified view of the “Seven Mountains.”)
1. Sacred Responsibility: to reconcile people through repentance and grace to God through Jesus Christ, growing the body in breadth (numbers) and depth (maturity) and to carry out the ministry of reconciliation, to teach the Foundations of our Faith and to equip using the skills Christ gives for Kingdom building, we could call these Kingdom Gateway Skills…
Apostle – equips people to be Planters- Planting or support new works.
Prophet – equips people to be Perceivers- Learning to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, to rejoice in truth and turn to the Word for discernment.
Evangelist – equips people to be Proclaimers- Sharing the good news of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus, saving us from the Kingdom of darkness transferring us into the Kingdom of Christ.
Pastor – equips people to be Caregivers and Guides- Serving and loving my neighbor who God puts in front of me and using my gifts, talents and resources to serve in deliberate ways
Teacher – equips people to be Imparters- Faithful people who entrust faithful people, who will in turn teach others
2. Civic Responsibility: Peace Makers, sound doctrine and sound administration/governance.
The body of Christ in our community, joined to Christ - the head- and empowered by the Holy Spirit, has the full and final responsibility to empower godly leaders, defend from doctrines that will damage the body of Christ and handle conflicts between believers, reconciling people through repentance and grace to each other, pursuing truth, peace and unity as we fulfill our ministry of reconciliation.
Shared Standards - People who live and work together cooperatively (from families, to organizations) have shared practices, norms, values, principles, etc. We work to facilitate each community in to establish their own godly values, practices and norms; we call these Shared Standards. We work to encourage each person to resolve to live by the godly standards of their community - to solemnly, in the presence of others, make a resolution to embrace shared standards as a way of life. The following four encompass the basic ‘building blocks’ of our lives and community:
Shared Standards for Disciple Building, these enable us to fulfill our Mandates: The Great Commission and The Great Commandment.
Shared Standards for Marriage Building, we learn to be good spouses; Christ is our Bridegroom and we are His Bride
Shared Standards for Family Building, we learn to be a harmonious and loving family; we learn to be the family of God
Shared Standards for Church/Ecclesia Building, The body is His plan to carry out his work: we learn to connect to the head of the body, Christ and to his body around us; finding our place as a member of his body to serving Him, each other and those around us.
Our role/responsibility – Each of us, as individual members, have roles to fulfill. Members fulfill their roles by connecting to other members. This is the natural progression of skill as we learn to fulfill our roles, from member to master/expert. The following describes the natural flow of development
Role - Our role encapsulates our responsibility and the authority that goes with administrating that responsibility: husband, teacher, administrator, etc. We work cooperatively together by agreement, having shared practices and norms also called standards. This agreement can be called STANDING.)
Confirmed - When a person gains skill, and that skill is visible, people recognize it: “Go see so-and-so, they really know how to…”
Commissioned - A person who grows and helping others gain skill is often commissioned as an official leader or guide. Scripture indicates that those we commission must demonstrate godly character.
Master -A person who demonstrated a great deal of skill is often recognized and sought out as an expert.
Acting - Often, especially in new works before members have demonstrated competence, they are commissioned to a role ‘acting’ in that role as they gain and demonstate the skills and competency required.
The 4 Pillars of Kingdom Governance –
The Four Core Ideals: When people come together, for work or play, there are conflicts. We need wisdom in administration, good governance, sound government to ensure proper function and to fulfill our ministry of reconciliation or peacemaking. These Four Core Ideals help us to create balance in relationships, from marriage to corporate activities.
Unity in Diversity- One body, many members united in Jesus Christ
Popular Sovereignty- The free will, responsibility, and authority of the diverse parts of the body to operate according to their unique design
Democratic Equality- Each part of the body is being equal in the eyes of the Lord, that leadership and authority are not signals of greatnfess but a responsibility to be a slave to the others that we serve
Rule of Law- Scripture- All authority, responsibility, and sovereignty must submit to the Word, that all members of the body may rejoice in Truth and hold one another accountable wherever we deviate from The Truth, The Word of God
Carrying out the Vision and our Mission: We are better able to walk together by making the vision (the plan) visible: Who, What, Where, When, How
3. Social Responsibility: to provide for those among us. Carrying out our social responsibility helps fulfill our responsibility in fulfilling the Great Commandment.
4. Market Responsibility: to work and be gainfully occupied. Provide funds for others to live and serve. As believers, if we trade with one another it increases resources in the Kingdom, for the substance we all need and for funding of ministries.