The call of the Church
Our call as disciples of Christ is to be the Church God has meant for us to be.
In Ephesians, Paul writes:
"so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 3:10 New Revised Standard
This is our mission and call as a church: to make known the wisdom of God in His rich variety.
Intrigued by this common mission and the great variety of kinds of churches that have developed during the centuries, I wrote my Senior Seminar Paper at Great Lakes Christian College on which marks could be called the essential marks of the church. I identified five of them.
This research led me to some considerations I would like to share with all of those who are trying to rise to that call.
"...... An evident feature of the church is, then, the community.
- God calls a people;
- Jesus proclaims the Kingdom;
- the word “ekklesia” refers to an “assembly” of people, a congregation.
- Jesus’s ministry forms a community of disciples that he instructs and prepares for ministry.
According to John Howard Yoder, the work of God is the calling of a people, whether in the Old Covenant or the New. He states that,
“Biblical theology discovers a fuller meaning to the dimension of peoplehood in all the working of God throughout the Bible story; …..Jesus’ proclamation of the coming of the Kingdom in the Gospel accounts a dimension of genuine social creativity, and the calling of the twelve is the nucleus of a new community.”
Men and women are called together in a new social wholeness.
As evident as this mark could seem to be, there is the need to recognize it. It is essential to understand that the concept of the church itself cannot take on the individualistic form of our society or our arrogant nature. If we are to experience the church, it will have to be in the form of communion and interaction with others.
To live in isolation from other brothers and sisters in Christ, with no sense of commitment and accountability, means to not experience the church.
 Colin Brown, Dictionary of New Testament Theology Vol.1. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979), 291.
 John H Yoder, The royal Priesthood: Essays Ecclesiological and Ecumenical (Scottdale: Herald Press, 1994), 73-74.
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