“Ecclesiology” is a big sounding word. It also has a really big sounding definition: “theology as applied to the nature and structure of the Christian Church.” However, Christianity didn’t begin as formal church (needing an academic course of study), tightly programmed and highly structured like churches of today.
In the beginning, Christians met mostly in private homes. This practice continued for about 300 years. Through out the New Testament you read about Christians meeting in private houses, however, church buildings are not even mentioned.
Why is that? The early Christian meetings were so free, spontaneous, and Spirit-led that they didn’t need fancy, institutionalized buildings or nonprofit organizations to function. Instead, those early Christian assemblies were gatherings where people learned to hear and obey the risen Jesus and then to minister to one another as He directed them. Everyone present had the freedom to open up and to really get to know what others were thinking and experiencing. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.)
Jesus and others in the New Testament called those first-three-century Christian meetings, “ekklesias,” which is best translated as “assemblies,” not as “churches.” Ekklesia was also the name of the city council in ancient Greek city/states.
So what happened? Ekklesia (the Spirit-led, Christian assembly) gradually morphed into the institutional church (IC). Eventually the concept of prechurch ekklesia was mostly forgotten, and much of the amazing power of early, prechurch Christianity was lost! (I’m not making this up. Check out some quotes that back me up by famous theologian, Emil Brunner at this link.)
Would you like to get that early Christian power back in your life? And in worldwide Christianity? The book: ONE: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose From House To House shows how to do that. It is a step by step, practical “ecclesiology” of how Christ-followers can experience Jesus like never before, by going beyond formal church and beginning to assemble in home meetings led by the living Jesus.
You can read more about ONE (including book reviews) and/or get a copy in Kindle or paperback @ http://amzn.to/2C0iGqh. Or make a search for ONE by Henry Hon.