Acts 1:37-41; 9; 1 Cor. 3, 5, 12:12-31

As the church in Acts began to move outwards, those who were convinced by their message wanted to know how they could belong. They listened to what the church said to them, accepted their words, believed, and were baptised. Huge numbers were added to the church and belonging flourished without hinderance. Even Saul was included and transformed to be Paul!

How do we balance that as we read in 1 Corinthians 5 about divisions in the church, and an apparent readiness to throw people out? What about the encouragement in 1 Corinthians 12 for every part of the body to be included? We hold “Belonging” as one of our core values as church, but what message does the world around us hear from us? Are we heard as a church where all are welcome and included, or is our voice heard as saying something else?