Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you meet in a school?
We worship Sunday mornings, 10:30am at Athens Drive High School located at 1420 Athens Dr, Raleigh, NC 27606 [map] and on YouTube via live stream.
Perhaps the most common question we are asked is “why do you meet in a school?”
First and foremost, we meet in a school because it requires us to enter into relationship. If you’ve ever moved into a new neighborhood, you know how easy it is to shake hands once … and then never see each other again.
We do not want this to happen to us as a church community.
A school is a community full of students, teachers, and families with needs, and our presence in the school allows us countless opportunities to serve and love them. It also connects us to the wider community creating further opportunities to serve the “least of these” in our community.
Is Ekklesia an LGBTQ+ affirming community?
Yes! We are fully welcoming and inclusive of all LGBTQ+ persons. No strings attached, and no fine print. Over Ekklesia’s lifetime, members of our LGBTQ+ community have served in every ministry capacity. From nursery to worship teams, from hospitality to our Board of Elders, from small groups to prayer team to church treasurer and more.
Why do you have 2 co-pastors instead of one lead pastor?
We have two pastors who share teaching responsibilities (and we regularly invite others to share as well!) because we believe that no single person can do justice to the Gospel. The church needs multiple voices, stories, and perspectives. Meet our staff.
Do you have a “mission” statement and “core values”?
No… Yes… Sort of. We’ve always been a little resistant to the idea of creating a fixed “Mission/Vision” because we’re not totally sure the Gospel can be nailed down to a concise couple of sentences. We’ve been in places where a “Mission” and “Vision” were created, and in time, the “Mission” and “Vision” unwittingly began taking precedence over Jesus.
We are called to be disciples (talmidim, learners, apprentices) of Jesus and to make disciples of all nations. Thus, at risk of sounding trite, our mission is Jesus’ mission, and our vision is to (try to) have Jesus’ vision. By simply trying to keep Jesus at the center, Jesus is able to continually critique and reshape our “vision.” Our hope (and assumption) is that 30 years from now we will have a clearer vision of who Jesus is and will be much better at living out his mission than we are now.
We also don’t have a formal set of “Core Values,” but that is not to say that there aren’t values that we hope will characterize our community. Informally, our core values would probably be: Humility, Authenticity, Thoughtfulness (Intellectual), Generosity, and Hospitality.
We seek to constantly improve and grow as a church. In early 2017, we decided to dedicate all 5th-Sundays-of-a-month to the topic of racial justice. There are many things we are doing very well as a church, but there are, of course, many where we can grow and improve. Racial awareness and diversity is certainly one of those places. Of course, the conversation about race is not intended to be confined only to 5th Sundays. It is an ongoing conversation, heart change, and call to action; hence this resource page.
When people give to Ekklesia, how is the money used?
The storyline of the early Christian church is one of incredible sacrifice and eye-popping generosity. It grew not because it was a storehouse of wealth, but because it poured itself out on behalf of the world.
Inspired by this generosity, we’ve structured our finances such that 1/3 of all the money given to Ekklesia is sent outside of our walls to serve those in need. Jesus came proclaiming Good News to the poor and freedom for the oppressed. We want to proclaim the same Good News. Not just with our lips, but even with our resources!
What is the meaning of your name?
Ekklesia (eck-lay-SEE-ah) is the Greek word for church. The word church, native to our western culture, connotes a place or a building. The word ekklesia, native to ancient Greek culture, connotes people and community. One implies brick and mortar; the other implies flesh and blood. Buildings stand; people move. We want to be a church that moves.
Do you plan to build a building of your own?
The short answer … no. But you probably want a longer explanation. We’ve always said that if God opened a door (literally and figuratively) and said “walk through it,” of course we would do it. But we want to be in the school. It has birthed beautiful friendships and partnerships that (we hope) are making our community a better place. Our hope has always been that if someone ever gave us a building, the school would beg us to stay because we’ve done such great/humble/loving things there that they wouldn’t want us to go.