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Ekklesia Tribe
Roles and Descriptions

“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:22-23


“Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” Acts 2:46-47

Image by Samuel McGarrigle

The word "church" is mentioned more than 100 times in the New Testament. It is translated from the Greek term ekklesia which is formed from two Greek words meaning "an assembly" and "to call out" or "the called-out ones." The New Testament church is a body of believers that has been called out from the world by God to live as his people under the authority of Jesus Christ:


God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. (Ephesians 1:22–23, NLT).  This group of believers or "the body of Christ" began in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost through the work of the Holy Spirit and will continue to be formed until the day of the rapture of the church.  A person becomes a member of the church simply by exercising faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.


The Ekklesia Tribe is tasked with planting and assisting home churches, and in some cases larger churches throughout the community.  Transforming Milwaukee must be done strategically block-by-block to reclaim the blighted areas in the neighborhoods throughout the community, zip code by zip code.  Using the model that has successfully transformed other cities, where average citizens in some of the more violent and impoverished zip codes in the US came together, Milwaukee can transform to become a safe, thriving city, growing socially, economically, and spiritually.


The Five Step Strategy has been formulated to address the historical injustice of areas through a comprehensive five-phase process. This will include crime reduction, neighborhood revitalization, improved education, affordable housing, jobs, and economic development.


The tools provided in these five steps are equipping organizations with important information on how to re-claim Milwaukee. By gathering strategic information, they will learn how to identify blighted areas in Milwaukee and then implement sustained transformation programs. Some of the areas of focus for transformation engagement are, crime prevention, home ownership, mentoring fathers, race relations, new industry, prayer mobilization, sexual abuse awareness, home church programs, spiritual transformation, school tutoring, health care programs, evangelistic outreach, work programs-job training, single moms’ programs, parolee rehab program.  


Using the Five R’s of Community Transformation:  Repentance, Reconciliation, Restoration, Revival, and Reformation, the five-phase transformation model Skinner created in 1994 consists of:

 

1.The Discovery Phase: Research and Analysis

The first phase needed for a comprehensive transformation program is a clear picture of the targeted area of Milwaukee. This requires research and analysis of social, economic, spiritual, and physical conditions. Research and analysis give interested parties (churches, non-profits, government agencies) a realistic picture and how effective organizations have been in their mission.


Strategic Justice Initiatives, Inc. will help the Ekklesia Tribe achieve greater impact in Milwaukee by assisting in research and analysis of the target area. A printed analysis will inform us when, where, and how we should focus our resources to facilitate transformation.


This first phase centers on a detailed analysis of the suffering that will provide insight on historical suffering patterns, economic patterns, and crime trends. It will also provide social and spiritual trends from the incorporation of Milwaukee to present-day.  Using these guides will provide the Ekklesia Tribe with practical steps to use with members of the business community (where the healthiest locations are to sustain business growth), as well as indicate how all our Tribes can better steward their resources to bring sustained transformation, targeting the non-churched by name and address.  The Ekklesia Tribe will have a strategic plan to increase home ownership and reduce crime for a safer community.   

 

2.The Vision Phase: Casting Goals & Objectives

The second step of the Five Phase Model will be to do a series of Cast the Vision Luncheons with leaders of influence. This includes business, political, academic, community, and religious leaders. These luncheons will present the studies in progressive stages. Using multi-media and real time demographic studies, leaders of influence will receive information on the health of their community. The leaders will be given fresh revelation and promotional strategies of how Milwaukee, although encumbered by the challenges of physical (crime, poverty, etc.) and religious demise (immorality, low church attendance), as well as political (high taxes, public morale) and business (high security costs, lower sales) woes, can become a center for social, economic, and spiritual transformation.


3.The Strategy Phase: Partnerships
The third step of the Five Phase Model will be working with existing local non-profits, schools, ministries, churches, and businesses to help strengthen their existing programs and fill in the gaps with programs that sustain personal and Milwaukee transformation.  Partnerships will be built between healthy churches, businesses, and foundations outside the targeted area with local churches, non-profits, and organizations inside the target area.


4.The Rally Phase: Community Wake-Up Call Rallies
The fourth step of the Five Phase Model will focus on Milwaukee Wake-Up Call Rallies. There will be rallies where a month is chosen to involve the entire Milwaukee community. Community organizations have already been engaged at this point with the mentioned programs and are launched during this week.


Churches may choose to utilize the transformation sermon series that focuses on personal, family, church, and community transformation. On the fifth week following the four weeks of preparation, Milwaukee will come together for a weeklong series of events that include physical transformation (clean yards, paint homes, fix decay, etc. based on the www.groupworkcamps.com model), spiritual transformation (evangelistic, social action, prayer teams implement the block-by-block strategy), and social transformation (block or park parties with food distribution, games, outreach to children, etc.). Each of these events will be coordinated by the Ekklesia Tribe partnering with city-wide organizations and churches.


5.The Mobilization Phase: Community Action
The fifth phase of Transform Milwaukee will concentrate on partnerships to engage in follow-up training with Milwaukee Mobilizers. This is a six-to-twelve-month program that tracks the transformation process with local organizations. Staff from the Ekklesia Tribe will meet monthly with the community leaders to monitor how the transformation and mentoring is progressing. Local churches and organizations will choose a member to work alongside our staff, analyze church and organizational programs as to their effectiveness, and develop tailor made programs and curriculum to support their vision statement as it relates to transformation in Milwaukee.


Headquarters for the Ekklesia Tribe is named Parnas the term “shamash” is sometimes used for the “gabbai,” the caretaker, “man of all work” in a synagogue.  The synonym is parnas (also spelled parnass) and originally literally means “manager.”] The Ekklesia Minister, Scribe, Templekeeper, and Clerks all work from here.  Key components of the Ekklesia Tribe also at Parnas include:


Gathering Place Community Development Commission  The Meskwaki Indians were also known as the Sac and Fox Nation and were present in the Milwaukee area prior to the arrival of the Anishinaabe Nation.  The Algonquian share many meanings with this group so their term for “gathering place” for the bustling cosmopolitan place which is mahn-a-waukee is very similar sounding. Created to address many of the areas that are part of The Five Step Strategy, the Commission will have the following focus areas headed by the Commissioner, and made up of volunteers:

  • Anti-Poverty Force – made up of leaders from the metropolitan Milwaukee area committed to acting on reducing poverty in the community.

  • Community Ambassadors – to reach out to the wide variety of ethnic groups throughout Milwaukee.  A history of the ethnic makeup of Milwaukee shows that the Menomonee and Ho-Chunk were the dominant tribes until the 1600’s.  The Fox, Sauk, Ottawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi moved in and were part of the population (particularly the Potawatomi) until the 1830’s.  In the 1830’s settlers from the east, (New York and New England) started pushing out the Indian Nations and settling here.  By 1860 German peoples were the biggest portion of the city population, but Irish, Scandinavian, & Czech had large numbers as well.  By 1900 the 2nd largest ethnic community was Polish, with Italian, Greek, Jewish, Slovak, Serbian, Croatian, and Slovenian also populating the city.  In the 1920’s there was a dramatic increase in African Americans and Latinos that has continued to grow today.  Recent decades have seen SE Asians, Russian Jews, East Indians, and many others come to the city, but not in large numbers.  The mid 1970’s saw the arrival of what are now well over 15,000 Hmong people in the Milwaukee area.  In 2008, Milwaukee was the 23rd largest city in the US with a population of around 605,000.  Of that population, approximately 300,000 are White, 205,000 Black, 100,000 Hispanic, 8,000 Asian, 1000 Native Indian, 25,000 others, and 9,000 claimed two or more races.

  • Criminal Justice Team – During the last decade, Wisconsin had 37 prisons (Male: Max 6 Med 11 Min 17; Female: Max/Med 1 Min 2) with an average of 23, 692 inmates (22,165 male 1527 female) White 51% male, 69% female; Black 44% male, 22% female; American Indian/Alaskan Native 4% male, 8% female; Asian/Pacific Islander 1% male, 1% female of which Hispanic/Latino 8% male, 3% female.  39% of all males & 88% of all females have a mental health condition.  25% have a sex offense. There is a 31.3% recidivism rate.  Who is willing to step up and actively seek to change these numbers, particularly by getting those with mental challenges the help they need?C

  • Government Team – dedicated individuals willing to meet with, discuss, and implement strategic solutions to the problems facing the city of Milwaukee with government leaders and elected representatives.

  • Homes for Our Neighbors – the start of the process to get the homeless off the streets into suitable living accommodations.Home

  • School/Youth Liaison – 2013-2014:  184 MPS schools w/78,461 students, 56% African American, 24% Hispanic, 14% white, 6% Asian, 1% other.  Largest school district in state.  9,700 employees.  83% of students receive free or reduced lunch.  WSAS Test results 2013 – 42% proficient in language arts, 58.9% in social studies, 44.2% in science, 19.4% in math, 14.3% in reading.

  • Upper Room Spiritual Leaders from throughout the city who meet to pray and share ideas to help Milwaukee.


Tilted Windmill Properties, LLC Tilted Windmill refers to the story of Don Quixote, the character brought to life by Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra (1547-1616) and the musical “Man of LaMancha”.  “Man of LaMancha” was filled with symbolism; “Tilting” in the context of the story means “jousting.” Don Quixote, a middle-aged gentleman from the region of La Mancha in central Spain is obsessed with chivalrous ideals and decides to take up his lance and sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked.  He sees (delusionally) the windmills as giants, so “tilting at windmills” means fighting imaginary enemies. “Look yonder, friend Sancho,” he cries, “Fortune has provided me with thirty or forty giants to encounter.” Tilted Windmill Properties, LLC purchases and manages properties that few see as having any value.  We desire to turn each of our tilted windmills into places that will reach the helpless and bring joy into the lives of those who have been discouraged by satan’s antics. Created to work with local realtors, contractors, and home builders to identify and purchase properties, tear them down and rebuild bigger and better homes on the property as a start to the transformation process in Milwaukee.

 

Urban Home Churches Team identifies and trains potential home church families.  Headed by the Chief this Team develops ideas and materials for use by the home churches, sharing them on an app specifically designed for this purpose.  The team identifies where larger churches may need to be planted.  The Team serves as a resource, using all the other Tribes to provide for the Urban Home Churches in Milwaukee.  The Perpetual Care Team is available on “will call” to assist the Urban Home Churches whenever needed.


Kingdom Diplomats


Never-Ending Grace Corporation, as part of its mission has already identified that there is a need for a church to be planted in the downtown Milwaukee area.  While the business district may be thriving, there is a large percentage of unchurched families and individuals residing in the area who are economically depressed and in desperate need of assistance.  
 

The church will be named “Kingdom Diplomats.”  The basic meaning of the word kingdom in the Bible is God’s kingly rule — his reign, his action, his lordship, his sovereign governance. Since God’s purpose for the world is to save a people for himself and renew the world for that people, his kingly rule implies a saving and a redeeming activity on their behalf.  A Diplomat is a person sent to a foreign country as one of the representatives of his country. Traditionally diplomats have spied on their host country. The Kingdom Diplomats will be located in an area of high need to represent the true church, purposed with providing a wide range of services and assistance to the people in that area to publicly reflect the love of Jesus Christ.
 

To do this successfully both staff and volunteers for the Kingdom Diplomats will be trained to model that:

  • The message of faith, hope, and love must be proclaimed consistently and repeatedly.

  • The Good News of the Gospel must be lived by the staff.

  • The Kingdom Diplomats must have a positive community image.

  • Regular participants in events and activities in the community, and continuously invite others to participate in events at the Kingdom Diplomats location.

  • Visitors are easily recognized, and we go out of our way to make them feel accepted and welcome.

  • A prayer box is in clear view of all who come in, and all are encouraged to seek prayer and report praises.

  • Every community event, class, seminar, or activity that we provide has fellowship time built in.

  • Newcomers are attracted by all the above as well as, music, weekly advertising, community newsletter, door to door outreach to the neighborhood, an attractive and inviting building, attractive signs that clearly designate events, times, etc., safe, appropriate infant and childcare when needed with warm and caring people in charge.

  • A short orientation indicating the many services available are provided to all visitors.

  • Every visitor receives:  a phone call within a week, a personal visit within one month, a printed brochure describing the Kingdom Diplomats, a monthly newsletter with the offer of continued emails, texts, or printed newsletters, and a personal letter.

The Kingdom Diplomats will be providing a wide range of opportunities for worship, prayer and learning throughout each week geared to reaching a wide range of people, from youth to seasoned citizens; whether single, or a family.  Everything the Diplomats do will always be presented from a Biblical perspective.  

A Food Pantry will be available throughout each week providing resources not just for food, but instruction in nutritional food preparation, and the opportunity to fellowship with others. There will be prepared meals where the community is invited to join us for fellowship, programming opportunities and of course a nutritional meal.

The Diplomats will offer programs and activity opportunities to the children and youth from the community: the Petra Nursery, the Solid Rock group for those 3 years old through 5th grade, Plugged In for those in 6th – 8th grade, Ablaze for the high schoolers, and Chosen Generation for the college aged (whether in college or not). An after-school tutoring and gathering place for latchkey kids (and others) will be a very important part of this reach out.

The Prayer Fortress operated by the Kingdom Diplomats will be where we surround ourselves in prayer and go about praying through all the praise and concerns for all our facilities, the staff, visitors, the surrounding community, state, country, and world. This joy is on-going, twenty-four hours every day of the year, never ceasing.  The Prayer Fortress is operated by volunteers known as Prayer Warriors who are recruited, trained, and coordinated by the Prayer Warrior Coordinator.  The Coordinator is responsible for finding committed Prayer Warriors and assists in the scheduling of their prayer times through the Prayer Warriors Leader.  The Prayer Secretary together with the Prayer Warriors Leader and some of the Prayer Warriors answer calls, emails, and work off Prayer/Praise Slips to carefully catalog, process, and update all the information received before it is relayed to the Epaphras Closet a small chapel-like room specifically set aside for prayer 24 hours per day, every day.  Using Ronald Dunn’s “Lifestyle Ministries” material as a model, the Prayer Warriors pray over all requests, needs, and concerns as they are given to us by others and the Holy Spirit.  The Epaphras Closet is comfortably furnished with a thickly padded prayer rail, a counter for phone, rolodex, answer box, request book, Bibles, and a prayer map where prayer requests, praise reports, and prayer answers are prayed over continuously.  Prayer Warriors time in the Epaphras Closet is broken down by teams that are each assigned to covering 12 hours of weekly prayer time.  The Prayer Secretary also passes praise reports and prayer concerns on to the Prayer Chain Leader who coordinates a variety of prayer chains.  


The Grace with Guts Seminar Planning Team will be creating and implementing any number of effective seminars throughout the year.  Whether it be about salvation, financial planning, prophecy, purchasing a home, healing, or how to purchase a car, whatever, we must have the guts to present Bible only presentations to the public free of denominational and demonic influence.  If the Bible says it, then we present it. Special conferences and seminars will be offered frequently providing a wide range of learning experiences to specific target groups offering everything from practical life needs and skills to further exploring God’s Word and teachings.


The Ground Zero Team is a specially trained group who are available on short notice to respond to several different types of critical situations.  The first is those who will respond to emergency scenes such as fires or car accidents throughout the community, offering prayer and assistance to those at the scene in need.  The second is those who will travel to the airport, train, and/or bus terminals whenever there are major cancellations or delays and provide light-hearted worship music, prayer, and small bags of essentials to those who are stuck for indefinite periods of time. And the third group is those who can respond to calls for individuals in need of emergency healings and/or deliverance.   


And finally, the Kingdom Diplomats will take on the immensely challenging task of providing a balanced blend of music and theater productions in a variety of formats.  Such productions are a proven way of reaching the community.  It is important that the productions are not always labeled “Christian.”  Each production must give glory to God, but there are certainly artists and materials that provide wholesome entertainment that is not always labeled or identified as something “religious”.  This helps to draw many un-churched individuals to the performances, which is our goal.  The challenge takes on new depth when it is understood that many of the people providing these productions will come from within those who are attending the Kingdom Diplomats worship services or participating in other Diplomats events.  The experience, jobs, and lessons in Christian fellowship that results from being a part of a production is tremendous.


Those attending every concert or performance/presentation – “audiences” in many cases need to “get the message” without having it in their face the whole time.  A musical, a comedy, drama, murder mystery, a variety show, stunning symphony performance, a rock concert, an old-time burlesque revue, or a tent revival will each draw different audiences.  But each can spread the same message when carefully planned.  This is an exciting challenge for the Diplomats partners.

Initial participants in service at the Kingdom Diplomats will come from several resources that Never-Ending Grace Corporation already has in place.  The lead pastoral team currently being prepared are very confident that within one year, the right sized building, equipped and ready for serving the community will grow to over 1,000 partners, requiring additional church planting and growth opportunities.

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