We have ten chickens—and introducing new ones to the flock can be tricky. If we introduce just one chicken, it will likely get pecked to death. If we bring in a few, we need to separate them for a while so they get used to each other before they share a coop. Or we need to bring in a whole bunch to overwhelm them and so force them to create a new pecking order.
Sometimes it seems churches operate like a flock.
One person walking into church wonders if she will be welcomed or judged. Will she get pecked to death by rules? Some new members may feel as if a fence separates them from the long-time members—in the same space, but not quite welcomed. Or maybe your church is blessed with so many new members that you feel overwhelmed. At Pentecost, three thousand people joined the church and the apostles had to correct behaviors and address arguments.
As we lovingly welcome new believers into our churches, we act less like chickens and more like the early Christians: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:43-47).
Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. Her voice is heard regularly through her writing and blogging for Time of Grace. She is married to Greg, and they live in Wisconsin with their three active children.
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