Smaller, intentional, participatory fellowships which relate together in their own home towns as the local Body of Christ, with throughout-the-week community.
In those fellowships, people regularly gather together in homes (and other places where life naturally happens) to motivate and encourage each other toward love and good works. As they gather, they openly participate in ministering one to another.
More than simply a “home group”, each fellowship and those in it exercise the full duties and responsibilities God has ordained for His Church and all believers, which include:
- Sharing the Lord’s Supper together as a common meal;
- Making disciples and teaching obedience to all that Christ commands through the authority of Scripture as God’s written Word;
- Baptizing new believers;
- Advancing His Kingdom in all spheres of life;
- Encouraging and holding each other accountable; and
- Exercising congregational discipline if needed.
Together, each local fellowship and those in them take seriously their role as Christ’s “ekklesia”, which is the local assembly called by God to represent His Kingdom in their own home town.
They also have a flat leadership structure where all can minister and contribute as the Holy Spirit directs – including elders (plural) who emerge from within the fellowships to watch over, guide and protect them through example and persuasion rather than top-down control.
You know …
Just like the New Testament shows.