Christians have always emphasized three things:
- Belonging – who we are in God through Christ (relationship)
- Behaving – how we live as disciples of Jesus (practice)
- Believing – what we believe to be true (doctrine)
Some Christians have insisted that what we believe (our doctrine) is most important and defines what it means to be a Christian. And then our behavior (practices of daily living) come from what we believe. Our relationship to God and to each other is still important, but sometimes people make it less important than the other things.
What if we turned the list around and emphasize relationships and belonging as most important? And then “behaving” – our daily practices and how we live – as the next thing in importance? And then doctrine and teaching – what we believe. All are important, but what we consider to be most important makes a difference in how we see ourselves as a church.