ABSTRACT

The previous chapter indicated that the discussion ahead will primarily focus

on the local congregation and its relationship to power. Hence, before turning

to a clarification of power itself, we need to refine the intended working concept

of church. As mentioned already, the chief factor at this point is the intention to

emphasize specifically the local church’s character as community. This move

is rooted in recent ecumenical thinking about the biblical concept of church as

a community of life together based on the koinonia or common sharing in the

Spirit. The task of this chapter is in part to note the appropriateness of applying

koinonia to the life of local church community. But it also has to pick up the

wider associations of koinonia in connection with mission and justice as well as

openness and transparency in churches. This helps to carry koinonia forward into

domains of thought associated with power.