I recently had an interesting conversation with a long time servant in the church. She has served a long time, over twenty years in one place, and then a couple of shorter stints – a little over five years in each place. We discussed being accepted.
Lots is talked about in Christian circles about community. And welcoming. And accepting each other. There is also this fervor of wanting to see growth in the Body. Seeking ways to bring new ones in.
Yet, my friend shared how unwelcoming women in the church have been to her personally.
In the animal kingdom, there is territorial tenacity. Out and out physical brawling when another creature invades personal space. In Christ’s Kingdom, it’s subversive, but present. Cliques, unfriendliness, a cold shoulder.
I think I have been naive each time we have been called upon to move into a new place of ministry. I enter hopefully, seeing the potential of new friendships to made. And every time, I have slowly come to realize, humans, namely women in the church can be very much the same. They feel threatened by new comers, especially in leadership. There seems to be jealousy, maybe insecurity.
How can I change this? I can’t! But I can adjust my attitude and seek God’s help in accepting each one in His church and ask Him to change their hearts.
1. I have to be humble.
It’s not about me, and what I think I may bring to the table.
Philippians 2:5-7,8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant.…and humbled Himself.
I can’t walk in and think that my reputation proceeds me, that I have such great assets to add to the Body!
I just need to get in and start serving. Humbly seeking out those around me. to those no one sees, or talks to- they are in every church. Even if it’s to the smallest ones – the children, the babies. There is always someone who needs attention. Go prayerfully. Ask God who He wants you to minister to. He’ll show you.
2. I can allow my example to teach.
Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
This old saying still so true:
your talk talks.
and your walk talks.
but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.
I can show the love of Jesus by my example. I can include, I can accept those who might not want to accept me. And in the serving, I forget about myself and my reputation, and I always find my place in His Body.
Dont give up, keep your eyes on Jesus. He sees it all!
thanks so much for stopping by.