In the disciples’ day, the paradigm for an ekklesia (church) was very different from contemporary notions. In the disciples’ culture, an ekklesia was an assembly of people assigned to govern the affairs of a city, state or nation—in essence, a parliament or congress. To the Romans, it was an assembly of people sent into a conquered region to govern, but also to alter the culture until it became like that of Rome. They infiltrated government, language, social structure, schools, etc. until the people talked, thought and acted like Romans. In other words, they brought the culture and ideals of the Kingdom of Rome to their assigned region. When Jesus said He would build His “church,”—His ekklesia—He was speaking of a body of people that would legislate spiritually for Him, extending His Kingdom government and influence on the earth.