Romans 12:5 ... And so we, though many, are one body in Christ, yet every one of us is a member of another.
In the same way, we together form one body, for we all belong to Christ. But we all have our own function.
What is Belonging?
Belonging is the human need to be an accepted member of a group. People often have a deep desire to belong and be an important part of something bigger than themselves. Belonging is about being part of a group where you feel accepted and where you feel you are needed as part of this group.
How do we see this in Jesus?
From Genesis 1 and 2, God has longed to live together with His creation here on earth. God has created us to be connected in relationship with Himself, people and the rest of creation. We need God, each other and creation to fulfil this deep need that lies within us. We are not made to be alone!
We see this in Jesus, who descended to earth as God to become a human being. Jesus/God wants to be part of His creation. He wanted to be part of His chosen people Israel. Jesus wanted to belong to the group of people that everyone despised. He dealt with lepers, the blind, Samaritans, prisoners, prostitutes and tax collectors. Jesus came to promote the recovery of this group in society. Jesus, as the perfect human being, gave us the example of how we as humanity are meant to be relational beings. Through Jesus, we may be part of His Kingdom and the family of God.
What does this mean for the Alongsiders movement?
For us as a Alongsiders movement, this means that living in community is fundamental to growing as a movement and fulfilling all the attributes that Jesus has lived out for us. It is therefore crucial that we work in groups of Alongsiders. By doing so, we offer a place of belonging. Monthly meetings are therefore encouraged. Contact with each other is a priority because then we can show the younger brothers and sisters what it is like to have a place where you are accepted, loved and valued. And encouraged, sharpened and challenged to stay the course.
What does this mean for you as a Alongsider?
This means for you as a Alongsider that your priority is the relationship with God, the group of 5 and with your younger brother or sister. All other qualities flow from the relationship with God, the other and God's creation. And don't forget: at Alongsiders you can be there. You are loved and appreciated. Your commitment and experience are needed to make a difference in the life of your younger brother or sister!v