Early church scholar Alan Kreider writes, “As I see it, in Christianity’s early centuries conversion involved changes in belief, belonging and behavior in the context of an experience of God.”
One of the problems faced today is that new believer’s change their belief to there is a God. But, they often do not join the church in a full sense of belonging. Church attendance is infrequent and the Church as a body many times does not fold them into the fellowship of believers. Without a period of discipleship, there is not much opportunity for belonging or a change in behavior.
At a pastor’s conference, belonging and behavior changes were mentioned as their number one problem. In early Christianity, the new believers came out of paganism where they believed in many gods and many idols. There was no such thing as not believing in the existence of some god. Most people today come to Christianity from just pure unbelief in God. The ancients knew that they did not control their life and are seen pleading to all kinds of gods by way of idols.
Unbelievers today think they do not need a god to fulfill their life’s needs. When they realize that they do, too often they think that this recognition is all that is necessary. “Peace with God” (salvation) is only the first step. “The peace of God” only comes from changes in belief, belonging, and behavior.
 Webber, R. (2003). Ancient-future evangelism: Making your church a faith-forming community (23). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Published on Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 4:17 AM CDT