Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. --Jesus, Matt 16:17-18
The word “Church” in Matt 16:18 is translated from the Greek word “Ekklesia" meaning “the called-out ones". God never intended for the church to be an institution forged out of brick and mortar, built on the philosophy of men and the tradition of the world. Rather, God forges His Church from flesh and blood. The church is made up of people who have been called out through their faith in Jesus and empowered to move like a heavenly tidal wave washing over the earth leaving hope, healing, and new life in their wake. A Church infused with the light and love of Christ so that even the darkest places are illuminated. A church that does not try to blend into a “world system” and “culture” but rather stands on God’s word and invokes Justice. A church that reflects our visionary Savior's mandate to Go make disciples of all men, a church that is ready to give up what they cannot keep, to gain what they cannot lose; an authentic church that transforms lives through the power of the gospel.
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. They say there is another King called Jesus.”
----The people of Thessalonica Acts 17:1-7