Who is Welcome in Your Church?

Who is Welcome in Your Church?

October 8, 2022

Bible Readings

Take a few minutes to read the Bible verses listed and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in how this verse applies to you this week.

2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Memory Verse

2 Corinthians 8:13-14

I am not trying to make life easier for others by making life harder for you. But it is only fair for you to share with them when you have so much, and they have so little. Later, when they have more than enough, and you are in need, they can share with you. Then everyone will have a fair share. (CEV)

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Imagine what it would be like if every house was made just for kids. The ceilings would be lower and chairs would be smaller. Kids would feel very welcome, but what about adults? Would they feel like they “belonged” in houses like that?

But adults do belong, don’t they? And so do you. Which is why your parents got a high chair for you when you were younger so that you could sit up to the dinner table. They also got you step stools to reach something from a high countertop. They did it because they love you. You are an essential (or indispensable) part of their home, and they want you to participate fully.

Our churches are homes too. They are a home for our church family, a place where we learn about and worship God. But if parts of our church family cannot sit with us in the sanctuary, get to the classrooms, or sing with us, then are they really being treated like a part of our family? Are they really welcome? Are they really indispensable?

The apostle Paul talks to us about this. He tells us that God wants equality, and that equality sometimes means that we have to make sacrifices so that every part of the body can truly belong.

This means if our church building is older, then we might need to make changes to it so that our church family can all get to the same places in the building. It also means we need to take time to get to know our other family members, learn from them, and hear about what they want to participate in at church. How can you help your church family members feel like they belong today?


Dear Lord, You are all we need. You have blessed us with so much that we often forget how other people live. Many are forgotten, and sometimes we forget them too. Help us to see them, to notice them, to make them feel welcome in the church. And most of all, use me to equip and encourage them to do the good works you have prepared for them to do, that together we might glorify You. Amen.

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Dan Vander Plaats

Dan Vander Plaats

Dan Vander Plaats is the Director of Advancement, Marketing, and Communications at Elim Christian Services, a global, Christian disability ministry based in Crestwood, Illinois. Dan serves on the advisory committee for a bi-denominational Disability Concerns committee. In 2009, he developed “The 5 Stages: Changing Attitudes” to help churches and individuals assess and change their attitudes toward people with disabilities, and he’s the author of Changing Attitudes about Disability. He is married to Denise (Hiemstra) and is father to Ben and Emma.

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