Jerry Wiles on The Reshaping of Church Life

The Beauty of a Greek Orthodox Church

In 1995 in Seoul, South Korea, at a Global Consultation on World Evangelization, I heard Dr. Thom Wolf, renowned global missiologist say, “The 21st Century Church may look a lot like the 1st Century Church.”  Well, it does appear that it is happening during this global pandemic.  Many local congregations are finding different, creative and innovative ways of doing church and ministry.  While some are stagnant and discouraged, others are thriving, growing and increasing in their impact for the Kingdom.

Lessons from the Early Church

The Church, the Body of Christ, in the New Testament is seen in three forms.  One is the universal Church, all believers.  Another is the regional or citywide Church, i.e. the Church in Ephesus, Corinth or Galatia.  Then there are local churches, congregations or gatherings of believers.  Of course, the local church can take on many forms of expressions.  Small, simple and reproducible groups of Jesus followers is the primary way the Good News spread throughout the entire populated world in the First Century.

Power of Rethinking and Rediscovering

Many today think of church in terms of buildings, institutions or organizations.  However, in our rapidly changing world there are new challenges and opportunities, and many changes in the church world.  It may not be so much about reshaping church, as it is reshaping the ways we think about church.  Part of what is happening is rethinking and rediscovering the ways the Early Church functioned.

Significance of the Orality Movement

In our Orality journey within Living Water International, we have encouraged following up the training by forming reproducing disciple making cell groups.  A lot can be communicated by using just five stories from the Gospels.  With the appropriate pre- and post-story dialogue and discussion, we can give a community, village, or tribal group a simple narrative theology of the most important things they need to know.  That is to become followers of Jesus, and to become reproducing disciple-makers.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service