Charity is cultivating inclusivity at church—it’s recognizing the signs of exclusion and learning to be inclusive toward excluded members.
Moving to a new location usually means moving to a new ward. For shy people like me, the thought of starting over fills us with dread. Will I make friends? Will I be accepted? Despite my anxious thoughts, acts of charity from church members help take away my worries and make me feel like part of the ward. From my experience, I’ve learned that developing the charity to be inclusive is essential to a welcoming church culture.
However, knowing how to be inclusive can be difficult. For example, stepping out of your group is uncomfortable. So, how do you confidently approach excluded members? How do you know they want you to include them?
The Ensign article “How Can We Create a Culture of Inclusion at Church” outlines two helpful ways to be inclusive.
- Notice the signs of exclusion. The first step is observing. Look out for closed body language, people sitting in the back or sitting alone, people leaving activities early, and people not participating in classes. There are many other potential signs, so work closely with the Spirit and trust your gut feelings.
- Learn the ways of inclusion. There is no one correct way to be inclusive, but some methods can work better for us than others. For example, we might be brave and sit with new people each Sunday; find common interests and begin a relationship; find a desire for real connection; and consider what it means when leaders say that “the church is for everyone.” As we develop relationships—especially with those feeling excluded—we will help build a more connected culture at church.
The article reminds us of an important commandment related to inclusivity: the Lord commands, “Love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). We cannot separate inclusion from charity—they work hand in hand. As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to grow globally, creating a culture full of love and warmth is more important than ever.
Read the Liahona article “How Can We Create a Culture of Inclusion at Church,” to learn more about what we can do to be more inclusive.
—Camila Roldan, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY TIM MOSSHOLDER
Find more insights
Take a look at Sister Linda K. Burton’s article “First Observe, Then Serve” to learn how we can become more like the Savior through observation and service.
Read “We Can Do Better: Welcoming Others into the Fold” by Betsy VanDenBerghe to learn more about how we can be more inclusive members.