Stepping Up To Belong
Joining a community of faith is an important step for new Christians as it provides a supportive environment for their spiritual growth and development. It can be challenging for new believers to navigate the complexities of their new faith journey alone, and a community of like-minded individuals can provide guidance, support, and accountability for them. Additionally, being part of a faith community allows individuals to deepen their understanding of their beliefs, learn from the experiences of others, and participate in meaningful worship and service opportunities. But how can this happen? Interestingly, the church plays a very important role in this process.
Three Roles of the Church
- We must reach out. (Acts 9:10-19a) – Whether people are saved in such a dramatic fashion, as in the case of the apostle Paul, or like most people, in a slow and steady process, we must make an effort to reach out to them and invite them to become part of the local church. We cannot wait for them to make that decision by themselves, even if it is true that they need to make that decision also eventually.
- We must help out. (Acts 9:19b-25) – New believers, especially those who are zealous for their newfound faith, as in the case of the apostle Paul, need our help, especially when they are going through persecutions, trials, and temptations. We cannot leave them to fend for themselves. They are vulnerable to the schemes of the enemy. We must be ready to help them and assist them in their faith journey.
- We must figure out. (Acts 9:26-31) – Although we want everyone to be part of our local church, it may not be wise to accept everyone and anyone who wants to join us. We need the wisdom of God to help us to discern. Also, we need people who would be willing to know a person well and sponsor that person to join our church when the time comes. This process of getting to know is crucial for the practical and effective assimilation of new members.
- Central Idea: “Together, we must create an atmosphere of belonging.”
- We cannot wait for people to join us. We must make all efforts to help them become part of the body of Christ.
- Creating an atmosphere of belonging will require intentionality and sacrifice. What can we do to help people feel that they belong?
- Is RLCC a place where people can really experience a sense of belonging? Why or why not?
- How can we become a place where people can really experience a sense of belonging?
- What would you do differently that can help us become a place of belonging?