The Challenge of "Belonging"
Many of us have experienced it. We are part of a Christian community and suddenly we are ostracized, made to feel “less than,” or stereotyped because we just didn’t fit.” We have a unique take on belonging at Compassion. Its best explained like this. Most communities have a belief that to belong in a Church means you have to "believe" the right way, "behave" the right way, "think" the right way, and then you will belong. But what we see Jesus doing is something entirely different. Jesus establishes a community that focuses on drawing all people unto him and his message no matter where they are in their lives. And since we adopt the mission of “Go and Do Likewise” belonging at Compassion is to be different.
The Compassion Way of Belonging
Everyone within Compassion is at different places in their journey towards Christ. Some are closer and experiencing him in entirely new and powerful ways through his Spirit. There are some at the outskirts that are struggling to feel the Fathers embracing love. There are some who are in the middle and others that are further away. This way of belonging enables a diverse community of varying convictions, theological understandings, political viewpoints, and more. We choose to find beauty within this. The result is a diverse church unified not in thought or opinions but rather the finished work of Jesus. We stick to what St. Augustine said in the 4th century. He said, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” The pursuit of Jesus is what matters most. We do not major on the minors. If our belonging means someone else doesn't get to belong, we are missing what Jesus is trying to build. We disciple and lead everyone equally towards a life of transformation where our choices are reflecting the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives as He refines and matures our decision making.