So many churches or groups or people seem claim that first, you have to behave right, and then you can believe the Gospel, and then once you have gotten that right, we will let you belong and become a member of our church or group. I believe it has to be the other way around. When it comes to church, I think the formula in a sense should be belong, believe, behave. Jesus first let these individuals know that they belonged —that He loved them regardless of their behavior and sin and choice to follow Him or not. Even knowing the outcome, Jesus still loved the man and had compassion for him, and that is what He calls us to do—"whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me" Matthew Secondly, something that followed naturally from receiving the unconditional love of God is that people believed. Rather, they believed because of it. A natural response to having your sins forgiven—and being loved in a way that no person could ever get right—is placing your faith in Jesus and making a commitment to follow Him. And only after the belonging and the believing comes the third step— behaving.
Belong, Believe, Become: A New Process of Evangelism
This will have some huge implications for how we do church life together …
Thanks to the vision and determination of German pastors like Herbert Hege, some German Mennonites, however, did plant churches, and invited young adults from the United States to join them. Soon after arriving and getting to know Hege, his wife, and their eight children, along with other church members, Steve and I were invited to return as missionaries to focus on planting a church in Pfullendorf, a small village of about twelve thousand that was predominantly Catholic, with varied levels of commitment and involvement in the life of the church. He explained the terms bounded-set, centered-set and fuzzy-set to us as ways to think about what a church focuses on in its structure.
Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. For some postevangelical Christians this has become a hallmark of the difference between emerging or emergent churches and traditional evangelical churches. I fear it can and often does lead to one of two problems. In that case, the church would seem to be little more than a cozy club of people who like each other or, at the most, together look fondly upon a cross without any agreement about what it stands for. Second, insofar as the church holds onto some semblance of orthodox doctrine however defined , it may relegate full belonging to a small coterie of leaders who must believe and behave first and then belong. What does believe include? What does it mean to behave? And not everyone who wishes can join in that sense—of possessing the status of full member. But only full members can vote on church business and serve as officers of the church. Full membership, in such churches, usually requires some belief and some behavior.
Churches are just swapping sheep. Have you ever heard someone make this claim or something like it? I have—way too many times, from pastors and church members alike. What do we make of this kind of comment, and how do we respond? They are. The gospel has never stopped being powerful. Conversion growth will continue to happen. Nothing can prevent the power of the gospel from working in the lives of those who believe it enough to act on it. God is able to make you and your church mighty in gospel ministry. Do you remember when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and empowered them to be His witnesses?