ekklesia

ἐκκλησίᾳ: [2 verses](noun sg fem dat) "The church" is ekklesia, which means an "assembly duly called." It comes from two Greek words meaning "to call away from." It describes an impromptu assembly of local people called away from their jobs to meet. The idea here is something less formal than to our idea of a jury, but a group of peers rather than a government organ.  - Through its use in the Epistles, the word translated here as "church" came to mean "church" but this was later in history. In Christ's time, it means an assembly of local people, like a town meeting but less formal that we think of meetings. Jesus uses it only used twice, once here and in Matthew 16:18 (not at all in Mark, Luke, or John) when Jesus tells Peter he is the rock on which this assembly will be built. The word only came into extensive use in the Act of the Apostles, which describes the local assemblies of the Christian community. Jesus could not have used to term in that sense or at least those listening to him would not have heard it that way.