Leaving & Becoming
Are you one among the throngs who are leaving the organized church? There is a mass exodus happening across the nation as people are leaving church in droves. We are walking away from the Sunday morning ritual known as church. Some church refugees have wandered into home groups where they are feasting on spiritual sustenance and actively engaging in expanding the kingdom of God, as Christ intended.
There is a grassroots movement happening all over our nation. People are leaving church and seeking connection with other believers in a variety of ways. Many of those leaving church don’t really know why the system which has been in place for hundreds of years just isn’t working for them. All we know is that the unction of Spirit is leading us out. Many are asking “What now?” Leaving Church and Becoming Ekklesia gives more than insight. It is an equipping tool for how and what to do. Tim Kurtz puts practical handles on the process.
Tim Kurtz explains how the concept behind Christ’s intention of building His Ekklesia in the first century got intentionally redefined into the structure we are familiar with today. Even if you have read other books on Ekklesia, or are already in some kind of home group, I recommend reading Leaving Church and Becoming Ekklesia.
The system of church that has contained, constrained and restrained believers is coming to an end. It is the system that was put in place by man and has been allowed to flourish on its own strength for nearly 1,700 years. It is the institutional church. It is a carnal substitute of the ekklesia Jesus said He would build. (pg 77-78)
I especially like how Tim articulates this transition. He compares the change from church back to ekklesia with the shift in government from king Saul to that of David. He uses David’s process to outline six characteristics of this major transition.
Transitions just don’t happen. Some are clear and obvious, while others are subtle and almost unnoticeable. A transition is the act of passing from one state or place to the next. A transition is the passage that connects a topic from the one that follows. It is a change from one form to another. With the latter, many people often miss or ignore the changes taking place and find themselves unprepared for the shift. (p. 75).
I think most of us can see that the church, as we have known it, is in transition. It’s been in transition for some time. It’s one of the reasons I started my blog, Beyond the Dalet. Dalet represents a door and the process of transition. Going Beyond the Dalet is about continuing through transition. Through Christ (the door of the Sheepfold) we go in and out and find pasture. We were never intended to remain in the confines of the four walls of church structure. As the ekklesia of Christ we work together in building and expanding the kingdom of God in the earth.
He’s Relatable and Makes Himself Available
In the book, Tim Kurtz shares the practical steps necessary for making the transition from leaving church to becoming ekklesia. He makes himself available every week day morning, at 6 AM (central) in a live broadcast via his Facebook page The Ekklesia Center. I have watched a number of these videos. I urge you to check it out.
Anyone who gathers in a home group or has been feeling led to start one Tim Kurtz’ book Leaving Church and Becoming Ekklesia. is a valuable asset. If you just have questions. If you have been feeling the nudge to stop attending church, or you are just interested in what all the hubbub is about download his book. It’s insightful. It’s engaging. It’s empowering. There’s also a study guide The Believers Guide for Leaving Church and Becoming Ekklesia, great for group study.
Here’s a few quotes from Tim Kurtz’ book Leaving Church and Becoming Ekklesia.
The constant theme of this book will be that the church as we know it is in transition. God is orchestrating the restoration of the values and structure that birthed the ekklesia, not the church, in the first century. As you read further, prepare yourself to differentiate between what we have called church, and the ekklesia Jesus declared He would build. What we know as ‘church’ must transition into what the bible calls ekklesia. This is critical. Ekklesia and church are not the same. (pg 5)
It doesn’t take much research to find that the buildings and much of what is done on Sunday mornings is drawn out of the third and fourth century pagan playbook. Innocent believers have had no reason to question or investigate the fact that everything from the steeple to the stain glass windows have some origin in paganism. Anti-Christian groups are using these facts to attempt to confuse and weaken the faith of many believers. The auditorium style setting plays right into this satanic trap. It keeps the masses spiritually weak and dependent. It is designed to minimize participation from the believers and focus more on those performing on the stage. This arrangement is acceptable in the church, but unacceptable to the ekklesia. (pp. 25-26).
My favorite quote:
The ekklesia that Jesus is building must be reactivated today. The first thing that must be addressed is the system that has contained the Lord’s people. It is called the church. The ekklesia must break free of the church system. This transition will require access to heavens keys, or maybe authorization to forcefully break down some gates. Therefore, it is critical that you be clear in your heart about what the ekklesia is and is not. It is not a passive called out group of people who get together each week, sing kumbaya, eat cookies and punch and wait for the rapture. It is a divinely called out, ruling, governing authority that challenges the Gates of Hades at every opportunity. (pp. 59-60).[Emphasis Mine]