Christ Encounter Groups — the New Testament “Ekklesia”

A Christ encounter group is an unstructured gathering that meets under the direct guidance and leadership of the living Jesus Christ, creating an environment for spiritual interaction with one another and with Jesus in a loving atmosphere conducive to free, honest, and heart-felt expression. Through the process of mutual love and support, Christ encounter groups train people to be sensitive to and obedient to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit and increase their awareness of the presence of Jesus.

The group intentionally meets and interacts so that each member may improve his or her ability to hear from God and to share and obey what he hears. Because of the unscripted nature of the group, people are free to express insights, thoughts, needs, Bible verses, prayers, and spiritual gifts as they feel led by the Spirit. Through the uniting of hearts and minds with the living Jesus, much mental, emotional, and spiritual healing takes place in Christ encounter groups.

encounter Jesus

The first Christ-followers met regularly in informal Christ-encounter groups that they called by the Greek word ekklesia.  Over time these groups gradually formalized and developed traditions, human leadership structures, rituals, and routines and became known as churches. Perhaps we need to return to ekklesia — Christ’s galleria displaying God’s glory in and through ordinary people as they show and tell what God has done.

“Let go and let God.”
These are not just nice words to say.
No, they describe Jesus’ ekklesia,
His bringing together groups of His followers,
So that He can personally direct their meetings,
And so they will let go of their
Traditions, programs, ego, and control;
And just be led by the living Jesus instead!

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
This entry was posted in body life, ekklesia, galleria, group interaction, hearing God's voice, Let go and let God, organic church, simple church, small groups and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Christ Encounter Groups — the New Testament “Ekklesia”

  1. This is the eternal purpose of God, that His Son would be free to express Himself through the Church, and have His manifold wisdom displayed to all the powers and authorities of the air. Rise up Ekklesia and let Jesus be Head!

  2. Kristen says:

    Is there any way to connect with these groups? I’m in Myrtle Beach,SC

  3. Pingback: Isolation | tombeetlebailey

  4. trisha noren says:

    Hi Steve!!!! Your message is sooooooo needed today!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!
    Is there a group in Melbourne, Florida?!!!…would love to be a part!!!
    Until the Trumpet Call,
    Always For His Glory Ministry
    ps…just love Tennessee…definitely God’s country!!! :):):)

  5. Hugo Buitenhuis says:

    Hi Steve, Interesting article! Do you know where I can find more background on the statement “The first Christ-followers met regularly in informal Christ-encounter groups that they called by the Greek word ekklesia.”? That would be really helpful.

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