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Being in loving and committed Christian community creates opportunities for people to give verbal recognition to the work that God has done in us. We are putting ourselves in positions where God can speak through his people to remind us: God is slowly and surely making us to look more like Christ. And hopefully we can do the same for others.

A warm welcome can make the difference between someone moving toward Bible-based, Christ-centered community or drifting from it.

As you consider this triad of biblical categories—“saint, sufferer, and sinner”—which of these lenses tends to control the way you see and speak to God’s people around you? Each of these perspectives on our Christian experience is obviously important, but my sense is that—dare I say it?—our conversations with one another often suffer from a grave imbalance: “sinner” gets the most airtime, “sufferer” runs a distant second, and “saint” gets little to no mention at all.