haven’t blogged much about spark 07 yet. suppose its for loadsa reasons. been taking time to reflect on it. been shattered. hated the sight of emails for a while. spark took alot of energy outta me so i’ve kinda let it lie for a while.

but i’ve been thinking alot about it though and one thing that has been living with me is how 2 young people who were involved as volunteers in the spark activities took decisions to follow Jesus at the end of the week. this is amazing! and i guess what i’ve been thinking about is that for these 2 young guys, ‘belonging’ came before ‘believing’. let me explain…

often we as the church place an emphasis on how people need to believe before they belong in our churches, ministries and programmes. however, for many people, they need to belong as part of a Christ-centred, Jesus-following community before they can believe for themselves. they need to see that this thing actually works before they make any sort of commitment.

so i’m thinking at the minute of how me and you can help people belong more. how can i help others belong in my church? or belong as part of a Jesus-following community? or belong in my life as a friend?

i’ve come up with some ways so far…

building relationships. fostering inclusiveness. taking an interest in their gifts, talents and hobbies. meeting people on their territory as they meet me on mine. inviting.

there’s alot of stuff on this subject of ‘belonging’ going round my head at the moment. would love some of your thoughts on this stuff. sensing that there’s more i need to tease out here…

stuff like about how judas belonged to Jesus’ group even though He knew what was around the corner. or how i can help people ‘belong’ in the stuff i do, regardless of belief (more on that to come…) or how the disciples began following Jesus without actually ‘becoming’ Christians. they just kinda followed. believing seems to have come later for most of them. many of them didn’t really have a clue who Jesus was. elijah? a prophet?

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