But along with being close-knit comes certain challenges. How do newcomers feel when they visit our group? We will never be a perfect group, and we can always find opportunities to grow. Making people feel welcome is a group effort in which each of us can play a part!
In my devotions last week, I read a section of Romans 15. Verses 5 and 7 lept off the page at me:
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.First, it's hard to justify rejecting someone because they don't look, act, or think like I do, or like I think they should, when I think about how Christ has accepted me and loved me even when I was an enemy of God.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Second, accepting others brings praise and glory to God! That's exciting! I want to be a part of bringing unity, so that "with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
According to the author...
- "If most of your answers are fours or fives, great! Your group is accepting and open to newcomers and has potential for growth.
- If most of your answers are ones, twos or threes, think of why it's wishful thinking to expect newcomers to feel accepted in your group.
- On paper, list actions or attitudes that would move your answer to fours or fives. Then for starts, choose one action or attitude to work on your 'acceptance ability.'"
The quiz results are anonymous, but if you want to share, tell us how you scored in the comments below.