Belonging Before Believing

Think big and be inclusive. Remove any cultural barriers between seekers and Baha’u’llah’s message. If always reading prayers out of a book makes seekers in an evangelical Christian area uncomfortable, offer to sometimes say spontaneous prayers they way that they’re accustomed to. If playing John Lennon’s “Imagine” during devotions (this has really happened) makes outsiders shift in their seat, choose music that speaks more to their experience.

In addition, let seekers contribute to the life of the Baha’i community as much as they are comfortable. Short of encouraging them to crash Feast or an LSA meeting, let them know that they’re welcome at every event going on in the Baha’i community. Invite them to serve.

But mostly, just invite people in your community, both Baha’is and seekers, to live life with you. Make friends with them. Invite them out for dinner. Drop by to watch the big game.

No, seriously.

“They that are endued with sincerity and faithfulness should associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance, inasmuch as consorting with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord, which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations.” // Baha’u’llah

We can talk about principles all day, but if we don’t make a real effort to include others in our lives we will never be able to change society. Our local Baha’i communities will lose their effectiveness and stagnate. We can’t afford to let that happen.

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