The most foundational New Testament principle for the Ekklesia is found the Greek word, “oikos” which means household.
The expression of household in the early church connected the family AND the workplace. This characterized both the relationships and influence the family had in their home.
Acts 2:46-47 “ 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house oikos to house oikos, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church (Ekklesia) daily those who were being saved.”
Christ’s Ekklesia grew from family household to family household. Work and home were synonymous. Almost all people ran their business’ from their homes. They did not all climb on their donkeys and “go to work,” much like many of us who use our vehicles to drive/ride to work today.
Every Home an Ekklesia
So every home is meant to be an inception point for the Ekklesia. Our homes are the launching pad to advancing the Kingdom of God. We see this in the New Testament with Zaccheus, Cornelius, Lydia, and the Philippians Jailer.
The Apostle Paul brings together the Ekklesia and the home when he is equipping his young and faithful leader, Timothy.
1 Timothy 3:15 “If I’m delayed in coming, you’ll already have these instructions on how to conduct the affairs of the church (Ekklesia) of the living God his very household (oikos) the supporting pillar and firm foundation of truth.”
Because we’ve defined church primarily as a location or an event, we have separated church from the home. This is why we hear that he/she acts one way in church and at home, another. This was not so in the early church.
Sixteen Keys to Making your Home and Ekklesia
What does an Ekklesia in the home look like? What is the framework for its fruitfulness?
Your home is wherever you live. This can be a single family home, apartment, condo, your parents home, etc.
Here are sixteen “keys” used to unlock “ gates” and establish the Ekklesia in the home. These are keys that bring stability, security, and kingdom light into our homes, wherever you live.
It’s important to note that you will not have all these keys present. Some of these you will be strong in and some not. Some might not even apply to you. The goal is to grow and establish these keys in your homes as the Holy Spirit leads you.
- Pray continuously (1 Thess. 5:16-18; Phil 4:6). Pray together in your home for healing, wisdom and family matters as they arise.
- Bible Daily (Ps. 119:11; Josh. 1:8). Read the Word daily and bring your children into it. Be a living example of this in your home.
- Think Biblically (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23,24). React and respond biblically to the things we face at home. This only happens with a mind renewed in God’s Word.
- Walk Morally (Ps. 15:1-3; 1 Peter 1:14-16). It would not matter how many sermons I preached if my life did not match it. My greatest and most influential sermon is the one lived.
- Love Unconditionally (1 John 3:16; 1 Peter 4:8). Our homes need to be havens of God’s love. It’s not I love you if, or I love because, it’s I love you period. My little one-liner to my children growing up was, “no matter what you do; daddy will always love you.”
- Forgive Wholeheartedly (Col. 3:13; Eph. 4:32). The family is probably the greatest training ground to learn to forgive others. Let forgiveness be a regular part of your home.
- Live Joyfully (Neh. 8:10; Prov. 17:22). Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Joy makes one approachable and likable. Joy determines whether your children or spouse want to be near you. There is a big difference in your kids “wanting” to be near you or “having” to be near you. Joy is a difference-maker.
- Sacrifice Daily (John 15:13; Phil. 2:4). Sacrifice is giving up our own wants and desires for others. It’s laying our life down. Our dignity and identity can stay in tack while we love and sacrifice for one another in our homes.
- Give Generously (Acts 2:44-45; Luke 6:38). We need to be generous with our time, resources, money, and energy. This starts in the home.
- Decide Wisely (Prov. 2:6; 4:6-7). Ask the Lord for wisdom, daily. Wisdom isn’t necessarily knowledge; it’s rightly applied knowledge. Our decisions need to be filled with God’s wisdom.
- Witness Boldly (Acts 4:29-31; 2 Cor. 5:20). Our homes need to be inception points and invitations to those who don’t know the Lord. Pray throughout your neighborhood and believe for the Lord’s salvation wherever you live.
- Parent Courageously (Josh. 24:15b; Prov. 22:6). Parenting is not for the weak or timid; it requires loving boldness and courageousness to lead our families into the fullness of God’s plan and purposes for their lives.
- Meals Regularly (Acts 2:46; Luke 9:16-17). We are busy people, but I believe it’s critical to set aside time to have a meal together. Meals create the occasion that we get to look at each other to talk, laugh, discuss and of course to eat!
- Work diligently (Col. 3:23; 2 Thess. 3:10-12). Our work is our worship, our offering, to the Lord. Whether it’s at home or outside of the home, we should be diligent and trustworthy.
- Play Intentionally (John 10:10). Find time to play. Find time to laugh. Find time to be goofy. Let your kids Instagram you. Let them jump on you. Go on trips together, play sports with them. Find out what they enjoy and do it with them.
- Church (Ekklesia) Weekly (Heb. 10:25). Make it a point to attend church (Ekklesia gathering) weekly.
Let this be a priority and one of the highlights of your week. Set a loving standard as parents and be committed to your church family.
Look over the list. What keys are you strongest in and what keys do you need some work in? Commit your homes to be Ekklesia’s and work with the Lord in establishing them for His glory.
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