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The Power of "Belonging"
10/15/2006
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Track 5 of 7 in the Transforming Story: As We Tell It series
Running time: 33 minutes, 30 seconds.


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Chuck Sackett Speaker: Chuck Sackett
Dr. G. Charles Sackett is minister of Madison Park Christian Church.

View all sermons by this speaker.


"Belonging and Becoming"

If it weren't so tragic it would be humorous. People will do almost anything to belong. Otherwise honest students will help another student cheat. Otherwise kind people will join in a group belittling another person. Otherwise helpful people will stand back and refuse to help as a mob attacks. Otherwise sensible people will do something dangerous rather than stand out as "chicken."

We want to belong. We want to fit in. If that means giving up our normalcy, so be it. If it means dressing weird, acting strange, talking differently, it's a small price to pay. We want to belong.

Church "discipline" capitalizes on that longing. Christians who find themselves in sin are sometimes disciplined by being ostracized. It's a temporary separation from fellowship with the intention of restoring them. The goal is to show them how much they miss the company of the other believers. It doesn't happen much any more, but certainly could.

But what is more interesting is the power of belonging as it relates to the process of becoming. It used to be that church was all about becoming. A person came to church in order to become something other than what they were. They came in order to become a Christian. That "becoming" shaped their lives. Then they belonged. Once they were Christians they knew they fit in with that new crowd.

It's no longer that way. People now come to church to belong. They're looking for a place where they can be accepted. They're looking for friends and a life that has meaning for them. They are often looking to see if "church people" are genuine, authentic. They (sometimes unconsciously) are looking to connect.

After they are here for a while, they realize there is something to become, also. They see the lives of believers, they hear the story of Jesus, they sense camraderie of purpose. They begin to experience a new life and wonder where that comes from. They discover Jesus and desire to become like Him. They give their lives to Christ.

The power of becoming once facilitated the desire to belong. It may still happen in some instances. But more often than not, the joy of belonging encourages the desire to become. Recognizing the wonder of genuine, authentic connection becomes the catalyst to seek the source of the authenticity. People are led to jesus when they experience the community of faith embrace them.

Perhaps you are that person. You have experienced the embrace of God's people. You are enjoying the company of authentic believers and seeing something you like. Are you ready for the next step? Are you ready to move from simply belonging to the process of becoming? Are you ready to take the step of faith that connects you, not just to us, but to Him? Talk to us. We want to help you in that journey.