Definition of the Local Church

In an Ecclesiology seminar at Southern Seminary, we were asked to define the local church in one hundred words or less.  Here’s my attempt at a definition:

A local church is a manifestation in time and space of the ultimate, heavenly-eschatological assembly of God’s redeemed humanity.  Each local church represents what it means to be God’s people by assembling together in one place for worship, encouragement, and accountability; by being a community shaped by the Scriptures; by observing the symbol-laden acts of baptism and the Lord’s supper; by maintaining its purity through church discipline; and by seeking to make disciples of all nations.  All of this is to be done under the leadership of elders, the service of deacons, and the rule of the congregation.



  1. Grant,

    Looks great overall. I think you are matching Scripture for the most part.

    A couple thoughts of critique:

    * Christ is not mentioned in the definition. I don’t think He has to be mentioned, but I would probably want to include the Lord, Shepherd and Redeemer of the church in a definition of the church.

    * symbol-laden … baptism and Lord’s Supper. I like Dr. Moore’s language of sign and proclamation in regard to the ordinances vs. symbol.

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