We use the word church to indicate the place where we gather. We know church to be the building in which we come for worship, for teaching, and for fellowship in the body of Christ.

When our Bibles tell us to ‘care for the church’, as we read in Acts 20:29, we may immediately think of taking care of the building, the gatherings, the programs, Sunday service, prayer meetings, and such.

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” Acts 20:28 ESV

In this verse where we read ‘church’, it should read ‘congregation’.

What we have not known is that the original greek word, Ekklesia, that has been translated ‘church’ (in this verse and many others) means something completely different than how it is has been translated.

The Greek word Ekklesia, is to be translated ‘congregation’, not ‘church’.

This term, Ekklesia, is used 115 times in the New Testament and 113 of those times it was mistranslated as ‘church’.

( Only two times in the New Testament is the word church used correctly and each time it is referring to buildings used for pagan worship and sacrifice, which is the original meaning of the word church. These two instances of correct translation are in Acts 14:13; Acts 19:37 104

The mis-translation came about in 1611 when the King James Bible was published. Those translating the Bible at that time did the translation work in accord with fourteen rules established by the Archbishop of the Anglican church, to keep the translation (the Bible) in line with the purposes and goals of the Anglican church.

This mistranslation, served the purposes of the king, not the people and certainly not God. Along with this mistranslation a paid clergy system of bishops and pastors was created that also secured the king’s control of the people and of which King James made himself head (of the church).

King James made himself ‘head’ of the church of England, and he required a translation that would facilitate his control over the church and the people. James understood “no building, no bishop, no king.” 105

Today, four-hundred years later, we gauge our Christianity on whether we attend church or not, whether we pay tithe or not, and whether we support and attend the programs and ordinances of the particular church where we attend, and in some places whether we obey our pastors and bishops!

Today, we have made a system of clergy, pastors who are the big people, the only ones to pray for us, the only ones who heal and the only ones who teach. We have stripped the common person of their God- ordained opportunity to know God for him or her self, to pray healing for each other (all members of the body being equipped), to operate out of the leading of the Spirit (in obedience to God and not man).

Here we are 400 years later still under this system that was never part of the early New Testament church and from what we can tell was never a part of God’s design for the body of Christ.

The New Testament writers spoke of the Body of Christ as an Ekklesia, a term used to indicate a body of people ‘called out or summoned for a particular purpose’ — “an “ecclesia” was originally a select civil body, summoned or convoked for a particular purpose” 106

When we think about the Kingdom of God this understanding of Ekklesia makes more sense. Jesus did not die a horrible death on a cross so that we might attend church on Sundays, or maintain programs, or become a social center. How absurd would that be?

Rather, Jesus died a horrible death on a cross, to conquer death and sin, to bring us to new life, and to establish us in his Kingdom, able and ready to take on tasks and roles alongside our Lord so that the whole world might know the love, grace, freedom, forgiveness, and justice that marks the Kingdom of God; everything is to be brought into redemption and healing, a wholeness of all of creation, a restoration back to the original design and heart’s intention of God.

With this broadened understanding we begin to read scriptures much differently. Consider Acts 20:28 with the accurate translation,

“Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28 WEB

Other verses too, begin to make more sense. (Why would God call us to build and maintain buildings? Is this what Christ died for, so that we might become building managers?)

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-20 ESV

We begin to realize that the body of Christ is the building of the Lord!

Let me say that again,THE BODY OF CHRIST, the people of GOD, are THE BUILDING OF THE LORD.

Jesus himself is the cornerstone, he is the rock that is the foundation of His people.

It should read, “Upon this rock I will build my ekklesia*.” Matthew 16:18

for instance, “Upon this rock (my own self) I will build a body of people called out by my name, summoned for the purposes of the kingdom of God upon this earth” – Jesus –

We go on to read that those called by God’s name are to be in relationship and community with each other in such a way that all the parts, each person, carries their part and edifies (builds up) each other.

“But speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ; from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16 WEB

We come to understand that the Body of Christ is to be as a living organism, a functioning body of people much like a family, under one headship who is our Lord Jesus Christ, living by the direction of the Holy Spirit through each person.

Our assembling together is for each person to be brought to maturity in Christ with an understanding of his great love and forgiveness and grace to such an extent:

  • that families are transformed by this touch of God, where children are cared for, women are honoured, and men live out their strength
  • that communities and neighbours are loved on in such a way that people long to know God themselves
  • that nations are impacted in such a way that justice and right living filters through every level

We gather in fellowship for encouragement and praise, and for mutual giving and receiving of wisdom and knowledge in the Lord.

As the house church movement in India stresses, there are to be “no special place, no special people, no special time”, rather a people learning and growing together in love and witness to our Lord, the “earth getting filled with the glory and the knowledge of her Lord”. 107

Each of us must learn how to share our faith, every single person can know how to pray healing for others, each one is to be equipped and taught how to baptize each other, and everyone is blessed to live and operate out of their particular spiritual gifting in sync with the other gifts around them. We teach the body to obey the voice of Jesus, not ourselves.

As we grow in the Lord together God is with us, breathing through us, transforming us and every aspect of our lives and as we are transformed our communities become transformed … if we are in community and not hiding in our churches.

The people of God are the dwelling place of God. A church building is not the dwelling place of God. It may help to think of it this way: Church is not a building, it is people, the people of God.

Pastors were never meant to be church building managers or program overseers. Rather, pastors are called to be shepherds of the people of God, looking at hearts and lives and then nurturing, like a mother with her child, good hearts, easy responses to God, gentle instruction, careful teaching, generous care. All this, wrapped in the bonds of love that mark the people of God.

As we gather together we, the people of God, become the dwelling place of God. This is why the Bible speaks of the Body of Christ as a dynamic organism that is alive and working in sync with each other and the Holy Spirit.

“In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22 ESV

“For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9 ESV

It is the people of God, joined together in the Spirit, who are the holy dwelling place of the Lord. Buildings are not holy temples or God’s dwelling place. Buildings are buildings.

It is profoundly unfortunate that because of this mistranslation we have lived in much confusion. We have put our focus and our efforts on the wrong thing. We focus on the buildings, the programs, the upkeep of that building — and too often we are not paying any attention to the spiritual and emotional health of the people who come to our buildings. 108

How are you building his people? How are his people building each other?

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16 ESV

“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:6-8 ESV

“Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.” Psalms 111:1 ESV

“I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18b WEB


“God bring us into what you desired for your people. Show us how to fellowship, how to gather, how to be strengthened in your Kingdom and for the good works you intended for us before the beginning of time. May we not be distracted by our own human ideas of how things should work. Give us wisdom. Grant us clarity. Show us what we might be doing differently. How might we operate as disciples alongside each other. Amen and amen.”


For hundreds of years we have been caught up in religion and in an idolatry of the church. For today’s application we will confess and repent of this, finding new freedom for our lives and communities.

While church, ritual, habit, and tradition are ways of knowing we are part of his body and bringing to each of us a strong sense of belonging, it is time to shift our sense of belonging to something much deeper than church attendance — our belonging must become rooted in the person of Jesus Christ and in the deeper works of The Spirit.

We simply state, “God you know how we have been doing things. God, if any of how we have been is not truly of you then we want you to remove it from us – we give it up to you. Release us from any habit, action, decisions, work that is not of your leading, guiding or your spirit. Thank you Lord. Amen.”

To renounce an idolatry of church is to re-submit our churches and building to the Lord. It is to risk giving God complete ownership once more. It is to enter into a moment of pause, to give the Lord the lead, and to commit to following however he may lead. He may direct you to a new thing, he may not. You may be called to do ministry without a church building, you may be called to keep on as you have been. Regardless, we surrender our buildings and our congregations and our leadership to the Lord once more.

“God, I come to you today in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. I confess God to an idolatry of the church. I have used church as an altar and I have obeyed its rules when really, all I am to really do is to live in the life of Jesus my Savior.

I am sorry God. I cannot even tell all that has gone wrong in my thinking because of this idolatry, but today I say ‘No more!’ to an idolatry of church and I confess that I need your saving, your help, your transformation of my mind and my spirit — Holy Spirit make me new in Christ today. I trust you God to do a work in my life. Bring me back to the joy of my salvation.

And so, I reach with the strong arm of my Lord Jesus Christ into my past and into my forefathers past to that place where an idolatry of the church first began. I don’t know where this is God, but you do. In that place where it began I uproot it, leaving nothing behind, carefully but completely removing everything attached to an idolatry of church.

I unwind the chains of this idolatry from around my being. I declare severed every link. In the name and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ I cancel all authority, curses, and assignments of the enemy that have been in and over and through my life because of this idolatry of church, today I say ‘No more!” I declare that all things connected to an idolatry of the church must go to the place where the true Lord Jesus Christ chooses to send it. Enough. Be gone.

In its place I receive from my Lord all manner of fellowship of the body of Christ. I receive freedom of salvation. I receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide me and to give me wisdom. I receive the truth of Christ that I was never able to see before. Make me a channel of your spiritual blessings father.

Lead me in wisdom God. Lead me in grace. Lead me in your Spirit. With all glory and honour to you God. I reserve this work, this prayer, this transformation deep within me, for your glory 100%. I love you Lord. Amen and Amen.”

Now, let us go on to equip the body of Christ, His Ecclesia, for the glory of God.


We are called to build the people of God Ephesians 4:12

The Kingdom of God must not be sold for a price Isaiah 55:1 

We are to give away the gospel 1 Corinthians 2:12



Pioneers .org 109 is a long-standing interna0onal missional and discipleship movement. Through their experience and research they have identified key characteristics about how congregations thrive.

In continued application of today’s lesson we look at what they have found to be most effective in multiplying the body of Christ around the world. This is a tangible process and plan that you can immediately begin to implement in your congregation/s as the Spirit leads.

It is good practice to meet as small groups of believers. There is a great sense of community and of celebration when we meet in large gatherings, yet growth and maturity in Christ is not formed in the large seIng. Sunday morning service does not bring people into a mature walk with the Lord. This is accomplished through small gatherings where the body of Christ walks in authenticity with each other, helping, challenging, questioning, thinking together.

Gathering as a small group of people on a regular basis gives us good opportunity for each person to participate and to learn. Adults learn best when they immediately apply and share what they are learning. Discovery Bible Study method facilitates strong adults with good Bible knowledge.


1. Questions to ask at the beginning of a ‘Discovery Bible Study’:

  1. What are you thankful for today?
  2. What difficulties or problems have you had this past week?
  3. HowdidyouobeytheBibleteachingthatwelearnedlastweek?
  4. Who did you share last week’s story with?

2. How to do the new lesson in the Discovery Bible Study:

  1. Read the Bible passage out loud.
  2. Have someone or everyone in the group retell the story, with the group helping in the retellingto ensure accuracy. ( For Accuracy we ask: “Where do you see that in the passage?” )

3. Questions for Discussion:

  1. What do these verses teach us about GOD? (“If this story is from God”)
  2. What do these verses teach us about PEOPLE?
  3. What must I OBEY this next week from these verses? Use sentences like “I will ________”.
  4. Who (provide a name) will I SHARE the teaching from this lesson with this week?

NOTE: The Discovery Bible Study can be done orally with those who are illiterate. This would only require that one person be able to read the Bible passage each time you meet.

For those who are literate and can write make the following part of your Bible reading journey:

C — Copy: Copy out the passage into your notebook
P — Put in your own words: Write out the verses in your own words.
O — Obey: Obey the verses in your life. “In view of the passage I will _________.”

As you go through the material ask each other, “Where do you see that in the passage?” to help keep thoughts and ideas on track and in line with scripture.

Following are the Bible Passages used for Discovery Bible Study:


1. Genesis 1: 1-25Creation: God creates the world
2. Genesis 2: 4-24Creation: God creates humanity
3. Genesis 3: 1-24The Fall of Man: The first sin and it’s consequences
4. Genesis 6: 1-9; 17The Fall of Humanity: Noah’s flood
5. Genesis 12: 1-8, 15:1-6 6Redemption: God’s promise to Abraham
6. Genesis 22: 1-19Redemption: Abraham sacrifices his son
7. Exodus 12: 1-28 8Redemption: The promise of Passover
8. Exodus 20: 1-21 9Redemption: The Ten Commandments via Moses
9. Leviticus 4: 1-35Redemption: The sacrificial law
10. Psalm 23: 1-6Worship: Praise to God our shepherd
11. Isaiah 53Redemption: Isaiah’s prophecy of a suffering servant
12. Luke 1: 26-38, 2: 1-20Redemption: Miraculous birth of Jesus
13. Matthew 3; John 1 29-34Redemption: Jesus’ baptism
14. Matthew 4: 1-11Redemption: Jesus tempted by the devil
15. Mark 4: 35-41Redemption: Jesus calmed the storm
16. Mark 5: 1-20Redemption: Jesus cast out demons
17. John 6: 1-37Redemption: Jesus fed 5000
18. Luke:5:17-26Redemption: Jesus healed the sick and forgave sins
19. John 4: 1-26, 39-42Redemption: Jesus met foreigners
20. Luke 10: 25-37; 15: 11-32Redemption: Jesus told about the Way of God
21. Luke 18: 9 -14; John 16:24Redemption: Jesus taught how to pray
22. Matthew 6: 1- 34Redemption: Jesus taught re: alms, prayer and fasting
23. John 11: 1- 44Redemption: Jesus raised the dead
24. Matthew 20: 20-28Redemption: Jesus taught how to be great
25. Matthew 26: 26-30Redemption: The Lord’s Supper / prediction of death
26. John 18: 1-19; 16Redemption: Jesus was betrayed and sentenced
27. Luke 23: 32-56Redemption: Jesus crucified
28. Luke 24: 1-35Redemption: Jesus conquered death
29. Luke 24: 36-53Redemption: Jesus revealed self and goes to heaven
30. John 3: 1-21; Matthew 7:13-14Summary: Do you want to follow the way of God?

104 source 105 quoted from

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106 source

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108 It is a challenge to know how to go forward in this new understanding of what church is to be. The answer for some may be to dismantle traditional churches and move to a house-church model. But this would not be for everyone or even every culture. Churches, the physical buildings, have established a presence of the Lord in many places. We do not want to dismiss this reality. What we really want is that our ‘churches’, the body of Christ that we are a part of and ministering to, are brought into the wholeness of life and relationship with Jesus and others.

We want our people strong in the knowledge of how to share the gospel, confident to declare healing and wholeness over each other, free to baptize those they lead to the Lord, with a heart that understands and lives God’s expansive heart and grace and sulha for this world. Each body of people must wait on the Spirit and hear how the Lord might be moving them forward as they gather, the things to stop doing and the things to begin doing. We must teach all people to pray for themselves, to hear the voice of the Lord for themselves, and to walk in obedience to the Lord’s direction for self. We must free the body of Christ into a personal love relationship with Jesus.

In response we might ask: 1. What will we keep doing? 2. What will we stop doing? 3. What will be begin doing?

Because many are now taken with the care of a physical building it is good to create a stop-point upon which the building will no longer take up our focus and energy. We want to keep it in good repair of course but to carry on year after year in focus given to a building is to continue to be distracted to the true church, His people.

109 Permission given by to share this Discovery Bible Study Method

=>  We continue with Healing

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