Andrew Fountain - The Church


Full sermon notes - Newlife Values pt1: The Church

  • We are segueing into a new series today
  • 8 part series on Newlife Church values, and then one about our plans for the future
  • We saw last week how God’s ultimate plans had been kept hidden for 1000’s of years
  • He had given pictures and symbolic prophecies
  • But after Jesus rose from the dead, all was revealed

The Mystery Revealed

  1. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given,
    to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
    9and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery
    hidden for ages in God who created all things,
  2. so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
  3. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord
  • The “church” is God’s master plan
  • There are four pictures or metaphors for the church in the N.T.

Metaphors for the Church

  • Bride of Christ (love and relationship)
  • Army (victory and purpose)
  • Body (unity and love for one another)
  • Temple or city (dwelling place of God)
  • God does not have a “plan B” if the church should fail!
  • So what is the church—does anyone want to give a definition?

What does the word mean?

  • Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklesia) literally means “gathering”
  • Congregation would have been a better translation
  • Used for a riot in Acts 19:32
    Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the gathering was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
  • You cannot have an “internet church” with no real-life interaction
  • Sometimes the New Testament uses the word to refer to the Universal Church
  • Out of 114 references, only 19 are used like this—here are a couple of examples

Universal Church

  • So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. Acts 9:31
  • to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:21
  • But 80% of the time it refers to individual congregations:
  • And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Acts 15:41
  • Is the Kingdom the same as the church?
  • Jesus spoke continually about the Kingdom, but the church had not yet come into being


  • God’s new creation life inside us
    • Power, rule, values
  • The church is the visible manifestation of the new Kingdom community
    • imperfect, impure
  • The true church will be revealed as the pinnacle of the new creation
  • What exactly is a church?
    • Do we have to have a building?
    • Do we have to have a name?
    • If a group of us happen to have coffee together one time—is that a church?
    • Bunch of Christians meet for lunch once a week?

A Church

  • Regularly meet together (the word “church”)
  • Significant commitment to one another (body life)
  • Committed to a body of truth
  • Operation of the gifts of the Spirit for the building up of one another
  • A New Testament model of leadership


  • ministries, societies, businesses, independent charities
  • prophetic ministry, healing ministry
  • Bible Colleges, missionary societies, publishing companies
  • Christian record labels, bookstores, clothing companies
  • Speciality church:
    • youth, bikers, surfers, ethnic groups
  • Problems:
    • accountability in lives of leaders
    • fundraising model
    • protection from error or drift
    • stories of good and bad
      • trinitarian
      • TBS, NF Year Team
      • Florida healing ministry
      • Zondervan (NIV)
  • Solution?
  • How Newlife fits into the world of churches called “Christian”


  • People who call themselves “Christians”
    • Bible is full of errors, no literal resurrection
    • Bible is insufficent—we need other books and traditions
    • The Bible is God’s Word and is our authority (Evangelical)
  • Evangelical (We are saved by God’s free gift, not our own works)
    • Cessationist
    • Charismatic

Very Brief History

  • 2003 Our family began attending King’s Family Church in Oakville
    As time went on, we began to take a few people with us.
  • 2006 Began a homegroup in our home—3 of us at the first meeting
    Later in the year started meeting one Sunday evening a month in our home
  • 2007 Started a second homegroup and began meeting twice a month here on Sunday evenings
  • 2008 Continued meeting, all the while going to Oakville every Sunday morning to King’s Family Church
  • 2009 Launched Newlife Church
  • 2011 Formally became part of the Newfrontiers family of churches

Acts 18:9-10

  1. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,
  2. for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
  • The Future
    • Jesus gave an image of a mustard seed
    • Our goal is to grow
    • Prophetic word of a “strawberry plant”

Ephesians 4:1-3

  1. I, then, exhort you, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
  2. with all humility and gentleness, with patience, forbearing one another in love,
  3. striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace:

Updated on 2012-11-03 by Andrew Fountain