I have a new "assignment" at church, helping with the development of a group to oversee the assimilation of people into our congregation. Another word we have used for "assimilation" is a "ministry of belonging." It has me wondering what makes me feel like I belong.
I feel like we belong in the community for my son's school because people know us by name. They welcome us. They invite us to engage on a deeper level than just showing up for school. I feel like I belong when I hear the teachers share real things with me or in front of me - things they are concerned about with their students or families. I feel like I belong when people trust me enough to be themselves.
I feel like we belong at our church for the same reasons - people know us, people know our "story" to some extent. They invite us to engage in the day to day life of the congregation rather than just show up on Sunday mornings.
How do YOU know when you belong to a group?