He was my best friend growing up. Honestly, I’d still count him as one of my best friends. We don’t talk that often nowadays, but the few times we catch up each year, it’s as if we are picking up right where we left off. Do you have a friend or two like that? What are they like? For me, my best friend was very much like me. The same type of family, same neighborhood, same school, and on and on the similarities could go. We all typically have friends who are like us.
But what about church? Is everyone you worship with just like you? If you follow the same habits in your relationship within the church as you do outside of the church, then it’s likely the church you attend is very much like you. But that’s not the way it should be. In Matthew 18, Jesus discusses what the church community should be like. And a major part of that is welcoming those who are not like us.
“…if all of the people we talk to and share meals with at church are like us, we are not being the community we should be.”Simon van Bruchem
Community is at the core of who the church is to be. Jesus came to create a new community of people that would reflect His glory. Unity amidst diversity is the essence of the Trinitarian God. Differences in role and person, but unity in being and glory. The community God designed to create in the church is meant to reflect that. Radical welcoming of “the other”, whether that other is a single mom, middle school boy, retired gentleman, or someone else. This is the essence and argument of Simon van Bruchem’s challenge to us all in his article “The Church as a Radical Welcoming Community“.
While this should be the aim of every church family, it’s not always the case. What has been your experience with the church as a “radical welcoming community”? How can you seek to make a difference or be a part of a welcoming community at your local church? I’d love to hear your experience and your suggestions. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.
Until Next Time…