It’s rather difficult to define, but we all know how it feels.
Belonging feels like a home “where everybody knows your name.” *Everyone hollers out…..”NORM!” (Yes, I’m “Cheers” old)
Belonging feels like Family.
The New Testament writers described this new phenomenon, The Church, in two distinctive terms- one as “The Body of Christ” and the other as a family.
Both of these descriptors indicate a closeness and interconnectedness that God desires for us to experience.
Since we’ve been talking about growing in unity, we discussed how oneness and harmony are needed in order for unity in the Church to develop. Oneness is based on our union with Christ. Harmony is discovered when work together with other Christians despite our differences. Belonging is realized when love and acceptance make us family.
So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.Romans 12:5
Belonging is when everybody has a place the table, and everyone has a part to play in the mission. Each person, no matter how old or young or how big or small their contribution, they are valued and accepted as part of the family. When we belong to each other, there is an ownership that takes place which elevates the Church to more than just a service where corporate worship happens each week. When we belong to each other, sin is handled with grace and tenderness instead of condemnation and judgement. When we belong to each other, every person is equal in significance, and every person has value. No one is left out. Each person has a home and is part of the family.
Belonging affects our relationships at every level.
When I recognize that other person who gets on my nerves or with whom I disagree is my brother or my sister and that they belong to me, it affects how I deal with them. It still may not change the fact that we disagree, but it will change how I view our relationship and how I respond to the situation.
When I understand that the congregation in my local church belongs to me, I realize we are working together to accomplish our mission. We are all parts of the same body, and every part is valuable and needed. Each person belongs because each person equally belongs to Christ. Each person has a gift to share and contributes to the Body.
When I discover that I belong to the world wide Church, I realize that I am part of a much bigger family. This idea changes the way I respond to brothers and sisters around the world. When I hear of the persecution of Christians in other countries, I respond differently because they belong to me. When children around the world need food or shoes, I respond differently because they belong to me. When missionaries are spreading the Gospel and need financial support, I respond differently because they belong to me. Their persecution, their needs, their mission becomes mine because they belong to ME!
Unity grows because belonging nurtures family, oneness, and harmony!
Do you feel like you belong as a Christian to a bigger family?
What can you do to create a sense of belonging with your brothers and sisters both far and near?
Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear i!
If you want to discover how to build oneness, harmony, and belonging while building unity in the Body of Christ in your community, check out this free workshop here!
We are all parts of One Body and we belong to each other!