I have been working on a doctorate of ministry project on the distinguishing characteristics of Mosaic and the Mosaic Alliance. One area of uniqueness has been the idea of creating a place for people to belong before they believe. So many churches are fantastic at being inclusive, but I have been surprised to discover that so many other church leaders resist the concept.
With your help, here is a very small list sent to me via twitter and facebook responding to my request for examples in the Bible where people belonged before believing:
Prodigal Son, Moses, Zaccaheus, Levi, Ethiopian Eunuch, Woman caught in the act of adultery, Abram, Ruth, Esther, etc..
Here is an excerpt from my project:
“Jesus interacted often with people who had not yet followed Him. Even among those closest to Him, Thomas and Judas belonged to the group known as Jesus’ twelve disciples, yet Thomas doubted for a time before believing and Judas never believed and eventually betrayed Jesus. Two of the greatest messages in history include Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” and Peter’s sermon at Pentecost. On both occasions the gatherings included hundreds if not thousands of people who did not have faith in Jesus.”
Who else belonged before they believed in the Scriptures? Beyond a name, how did they belong and make the transition to believing?
For more from my project on this, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Biblical Belonging Before Believing” as the subject.