Spread the love, be a welcoming Christian

By Claire-Marie Scott | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

Since coming to Baylor in August 2023, I have noticed a bit of a divide between people who go to church regularly and those who don’t. Everyone seems to only be in friend groups with people who go to the same church as them or who have the same beliefs as them.

However, Christ’s calling for the church was not to make it a place of exclusivity or status. In fact, the very first Christians were often ridiculed, tormented or even killed. This causes a whole group of people to feel isolated and unwelcome within church communities. When you replace the word of God and the seriousness of going to church by making it a popularity contest, you start to lose people. There is something so beautiful about having a diverse mixture of friends — some who share your beliefs and some who don’t.

A study done by political scientists Ryan Burge and Paul Djupe and analyzed by The Washington Post found that 15% of Americans are “dechurched.” When looking into the reasons why so many people are leaving the church, one of the top ones broken down by sector of Christianity was that people had bad experiences within the church and felt that they didn’t fit in.

God didn’t create us with the intention of having all of us fit into some sort of Christian mold. We obviously have morals and values that He teaches us to live out, but we don’t all need to have the same personality or wear the same clothes to be loved by Him. Christians need to make a better effort to show love and support to those who aren’t going to church.

Here’s some more food for thought: Who would Jesus be walking with if He were on Earth right now? I don’t believe He would be hanging out with the top priests, pastors or congregation members thought to be the “ideal” Christians. He would be with the homeless, the mentally ill and the people who are alone and don’t have anyone. That is what He did the entire time He was on Earth! Jesus chose disciples who were tax collectors, fishermen and thieves, and he worked miracles on the outcasts of society.

So, live like Jesus would. I encourage each of you to try your best to go out of your comfort zone and be willing to share the word of God. After all, that is what He calls us to do. Be welcoming to those who haven’t been to church in a while or who are struggling with their faith by offering to go to church with them or do a Bible study. As Matthew 5:16 says, the best way to make disciples of all nations is to extend a hand to those who need it the most and be His light on Earth.