Community Means Belonging

I hear a lot of talk about paradigm shifts and new paradigms, yet paradigm is just a fancy way of saying we are looking at something differently.  We have risen to a new plateau of understanding and can see things from a different perspective.  Our higher angle gives us a more complete and detailed view to give us a better picture. In “The Tangible Kingdom,” authors Hugh Halter and Matt Smay talk about the change in how churches are accessible to those on the outside.  Traditionally believing enabled belonging, but now belonging must enable believing.  We cannot expect a person to change their behavior to match our expectations and express belief before we love and accept them.  We must welcome them so they feel they belong and that will open the door to belief and better behavior.  This means showing acceptance to those who are very different than we are. This means not being annoyed or offended when someone acts the only way they know how.  Is this a new paradigm?  Not really.  It reminds me of a man named Jesus who was constantly accused of hanging out with sinners and befriending them.

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