Early Multi-Site Ecclesiology Research

It seems that there is more and more talk online about multi-site ecclesiology, even though it is definitely a concern for only a select few people. When I first started looking for resources to help me think theologically about multi-site churches, one of the first and most important that I came across was a D.Min. thesis by Scott Reavely, from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon: An Ecclesiology for Multi-Site Churches: Thinking Biblically about the Local Church in Multiple Locations.

I honestly couldn’t find much else that had been published and that I could use in my dissertation. Scott did a great job getting the ball rolling on this whole idea. Hopefully I have been able to add a little bit myself.

Scott made a few important points in his thesis:

  • He attempted to salvage the term local in his thesis by arguing that ekklesia in the book of Acts is fluid enough to encompass one assembly or a number of assemblies meeting in the same area.
  • He views the resolution of the dispute regarding circumcision in Acts 15 to be best explained through a multi-site model, instead of seeing it though the lenses of church—church plant, regional council, or denominational structure.
  • He similarly views the church in Jerusalem as well as the shifting of funds to help impoverished churches as additionally being best understood through a multi-site lens.
  • Finally, Reavely views some of the terminology in the book of Romans and Colossians as supporting a multi-site ecclesiology (though his arguments here may be somewhat suspect)

I guess he used to have a blog, long before I started this one, but with a similar focus.  If you want to check it out, it can be found here.

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