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A Church in Every Home – A Discussion with Ed Silvoso

Ed Silvoso is leading a worldwide movement to enlist believers to turn their homes into Ekklesias

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Tell us about the vision for Ekklesia Everywhere. What would you like to see?

Our vision is this – we are on a mission to see 1 million Ekklesias established not only in our nation but in every nation and region across the globe to change the spiritual climate. This means 1 million believers will dedicate their homes to the Lord.

“Ekklesia” is the Greek word for “church.” Jesus’ Ekklesia is a buildingless, mobile people movement – it’s when His people assemble to meet with Him. To have an Ekklesia we need a minimum of 2 or 3 people who are gathered together in the name of Jesus. We are the Church when we gather together.

When Jesus said, “I will build my Ekklesia,” He was not talking about a building, but people. He was saying, I will build you, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against you.

When 2 or 3 gather together, that Ekklesia has a quorum to invite the presence of Jesus. They can pray effective prayers, bind evil spirits, and release blessings, as Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 18:18-20.

Our specific vision for Ekklesia Everywhere is to have believers dedicate their own homes as Ekklesias – to host God’s presence in their homes and gather together in their homes around the United States and the world. In this season of quarantines, lockdowns, and capacity limits on buildings, it’s the perfect time for Ekklesias to start in people’s homes.

“The greatest moves of God take place not in church buildings, but in the marketplace.”

For instance, imagine if we had 1 million Ekklesias raised up in the United States, with an average of 3 people each. That would already be about 1% of America that we would have covered. If they are each praying for 10 people, that would be 10% of America’s population!

Think of what God could do in this great nation. If He could forgive Sodom and Gomorrah with only 10 righteous, what would He do in our nation with millions gathering in Ekklesias to pray and seek Him?

Is your vision for Ekklesia Everywhere focused in the United States, or is it worldwide?

Ekklesia Everywhere is a movement of movements, like the different tribes of Israel. We have people gathered from around the world – North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia. We have a group of apostolic leaders that represent every nation, who want to see this vision take place.

Describe how God gave you the idea of Ekklesia Everywhere. What was the process of God giving you this vision?

I’m an evangelist and my wife’s family is also very involved in evangelism – her brother is Luis Palau, another well-known evangelist. Evangelism is our passion. We have held crusades and had great success around the world.

Ed preaching at the Send Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2020

 

But when we looked at the results of our crusades in terms of church membership, we would report 10,000 people being saved and maybe fifty getting incorporated into the church.

So that set me on a journey of asking, how do we fix this? How do we deal with this?

And the Lord began to show me the need to have Ekklesias established in homes, businesses, schools, and government offices. In church history the greatest missionary movements always took place outside of the centrally controlled churches. I’m not against buildings or the established church, but we have to realize that the greatest moves of God take place not in church buildings but in the marketplace. I go into detail on all of this in chapter 3 of my book Ekklesia.

The Lord reminded me that Jesus didn’t say, “I will build my temple.” He didn’t say, “I will build a worldwide network of synagogues so that people can hear the Word of God once a week.” He said, “I will build my ‘Ekklesia’,” a word that had everything to do with the assembly of people and nothing about a building.

The exciting thing is this – Jesus said, “I will build my people, my Ekklesia, and the Gates of Hades will not prevail against you.” He’s telling us that Hades cannot defeat the people of God.

We’ve been talking about building Ekklesias in the marketplace and school and government for years. During this season of lockdown and quarantine the Lord made it clear to me that He wanted us to focus on Ekklesias in every believer’s home.

How does the Ekklesia confront the Gates of Hades? How do we defeat the forces of evil that are so evident in our world today?

The term “gates of Hades” is an expression of hell on earth – the corruption of the Babylonian system. What should we do when we have social chaos, when we have destruction in our streets?

The news has been so bad recently, so I asked the question, “Lord, what should we do?” He reminded me, “Be the Ekklesia and change the spiritual climate over your city and even nation.”

The truth is this – even Jesus was unable to perform many miracles when the spiritual atmosphere was really bad (like in Nazareth). And we are in that situation now, where the atmosphere all around us is toxic.

“The Ekklesia always benefits those who are downtrodden and forgotten by society.”

The first objective of Ekklesia Everywhere is for believers to realize “I am the church.” The second objective is for each one to realize that they can host the presence of Jesus in their home. As millions of believers all host the presence of God, what kind of change will come to the spiritual atmosphere around us?

The third objective is for believers to learn to bless those around us. We need to learn to release the curses we have placed on others. There are some of us who get so angry when we think about certain politicians or leaders – but those are the people we need to bless. When we do that, we are heaping burning coals over their head, and either they will change or God will remove them.

Believers desperately need to change the spiritual climate in our nations, especially here in the United States before our election in November. No matter who wins, we need a new spiritual climate.

Are these objectives and aims to “change the spiritual climate” anchored in any Biblical truths for you?

The book of Ephesians deals with spiritual warfare in the most intentional way of any book in the Bible. When you look at it, the only time the devil gains control is when Christians go to bed angry (Ephesians 4:26-27). If we let the sun go down on our anger, we give the devil an opportunity.

When someone wrongs you, it is natural and justifiable to be angry. But the problem comes when we dwell on this anger. When you sleep with anger, you have the devil sleeping next to you. This is what’s happening on all sides of our politics today.

Believers, regardless of what political party we are in, have to take the lead in changing this toxic atmosphere. We believe Ekklesia Everywhere can have a vital role in doing this, even in this election season.

We would love to hear some stories from this movement. Have you seen any tangible instances of believers being the Ekklesia yet? What has taken place as a result of these revelations you have spoken of?

We have seen fruit from this around the world. There are so many examples it’s hard to choose which ones to give you!

One of our colleagues in California, Steve Chua, led a group that adopted a remedial school in their neighborhood. This school was for struggling students, and morale was incredibly low. Drug addiction was high and there was dissension throughout the school. But they dedicated themselves as an Ekklesia to gather and pray and bless the school on a continual basis.

And the spiritual atmosphere of the school immediately began to change. Eight weeks into the dedication, the principal of the school came to us and told us the school had had the best period in its history, and asked if we could start tutoring the students. We did, and for the first time in history, every senior in that school graduated with a high school diploma. It has happened two years in a row.

Steve Chua with volunteer college students who helped  at their local remedial school, California, USA, 2018

 

The change affected not only the academics, but addiction issues went down 75% in the school, as did suspension rates. Violence cratered, and students even stopped using foul language. It all happened because a group of believers, operating as the Ekklesia, dedicated the school to the Lord.

That’s so encouraging – what God did in that school when believers rose up together.

Let’s also go to Silicon Valley, one of the least-churched regions in the world, according to George Barna and others. Michael Brown is the owner of Michael’s Transportation, a bus and transportation company in Vallejo, California.  Several years ago, he understood, “I am anointed for business. I am a businessman, but I am also a minister. My company will be an Ekklesia.”  (You can watch Michael’s story here.)

They anointed every bus as a mobile Ark of the Covenant, and trained every driver to be a pastor. He told the principals of the schools they worked with to call him if they needed anything, and he would pray for them. He wanted to share his company’s success with his employees, so he ended up selling the company to them in the form of shares.

In the years since Michael made these changes, the company has prospered. They transport over 1 million students every year. Their revenue increased from 2 million dollars a year to 21 million over an 11-year period.

They have also gone to the prisons in their area – Solano County. The recidivism rate – those who were released from prison and returned after committing more crimes – in Solano County was 78%. Michael went to the prison official and asked them to entrust his company with the released prisoners, promising to train them and find them a job.

The sheriff was obviously skeptical, and told Michael he would give him his 10 worst cases for the Ekklesia at the transportation company to work with as a trial run. Well, all 10 completed the program, and found work. Zero returned to crime! In the five years since then, the prison has continued to send prisoners to this Ekklesia. Not a single one entrusted to Michael Brown has returned to prison.

There are so many cases we don’t have time to talk about them all, but you can watch this video about Valley Christian Schools, one of the top private schools in America. It dedicated itself as an Ekklesia and now is adopting troubled schools around them and seeing remarkable transformation.

The Ekklesia always benefits those who are downtrodden and forgotten by society. Whether it’s forgotten students, incarcerated criminals, or low-wage employees – the Lord’s justice affects every level of society.

When the members of the Body of Christ commit themselves to be Ekklesias, wherever they may be, remarkable things happen.

How could our readers get involved in Ekklesia Everywhere?

There is a synergy when the people of God do things together.  There are three practical steps to take to be part of this vision:

1) Realize “I Am the Ekklesia.”

Realize that this is God’s calling on you. Commit to connect with one or two others to pray, bind evil, and release God’s blessings.

2) Dedicate your home as the temple for this Ekklesia.

We understand that the building is not the church, it’s the people that come in that make up the church. But rather than just gathering to worship once a week in your normal church building, you will do it every day in your home Ekklesia.

My wife Ruth and I did this dedication – we opened our front door, invited Jesus in, anointed our front door with oil, and we waited until His presence came in and took over. Since we committed our home as an Ekklesia, it has changed the spiritual climate. First it changed in us, and then in our home. The presence of Jesus is all over the place now.

3) Adopt 10 of your neighbors in prayer.

It could be the 5 to your right and the 5 to your left, or any configuration. Practice prayer evangelism (Luke 10) and speak blessings to those you have adopted. Look to fellowship with them and meet their needs. Finally, declare that the kingdom of God has come into their midst.

We’d also love for you to go to our “Ekklesia Everywhere” Facebook page, or to our website and commit your home to be an “Ekklesia.”

Dr. Ed Silvoso is the Founder and President of Harvest Evangelism / Transform Our World, as well as the visionary behind the Ekklesia Everywhere movement. He is a leader of the Argentinian Revival and has seen transformation take place in cities around the world. He and his wife Ruth have been married for over 50 years and have four adult daughters and twelve grandchildren.  

Come back next week for the second part of our discussion with Ed, as he discusses what God is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.