Sermon Resources Using the 10 Dimensions of Belonging

Below are links and ideas for conducting a sermon series exploring the ten dimensions of belonging to a community: being present, invited, welcomed, known, accepted, supported, cared for, befriended, needed, and loved. These dimensions of belonging were discovered by Dr. Erik Carter in his work with families whose children have disabilities. Families identified these dimensions and Dr. Carter has refined what it means to belong based on their input. A sermon series conducted at First Presbyterian Church Aurora (IL) was inspired by a learning session with Dr. Carter, hosted by All Belong.

For more on the story of how it came to be, read this blog post (8-minute read).

For an overview of the 10 dimensions of belonging, see Dr. Erik Carter’s presentations:

A Place of Belonging (article on SAGEPUB.com)

Fostering Belonging (webpage hosted by Boston College School of Theology and Ministry) with video clips, handouts, and more)

January Series at Calvin, a 1-hour seminar given in 2019 that discusses the 10 Dimensions. See below for related resources.

First Presbyterian Church in Aurora Illinois explored these 10 dimensions over the course of 7 weeks. Their website (firstpresaurora.org/familytable) has links to sermon videos. They have also created study guide materials with universal design in mind. You will see that they have included people with varied abilities in all aspects of the services (such as presenting, planning, and participating), and have a wonderful ministry going.

 

Explore the Ten Dimensions: 

Present

Each person is present and has
a presence in all aspects of the
community.

2 Samuel 9:13, Acts 2:44

Invited

Each person is issued a personal,
intentional invitation.

Revelation 19:9, Luke 14:15-24

Welcomed

Each person is noticed and greeted
with authentic hospitality.

John 10:14-16, Acts 2: 44

Known

Each person is truly known by
their strengths, interests, and
likes or dislikes.

Psalm 139

See this video for more.

Accepted

Each person is valued and
embraced without condition.

Romans 15:7, Ephesians 2:19-22

Supported

Each person is individually
supported in ordinary and
innovative ways.

1 Corinthians 12:25-26

Cared For

Each person has their needs
responded to in meaningful ways.

Acts 2:42-47

Befriended

Each person has enjoyable and
reciprocal relationships with peers.

John 15:12-15, Proverbs 18:24

Needed

Each person brings gifts to the
community that are seen as
indispensable.

1 Corinthians 12:15-26, Ephesians 4:15-16

Loved

Each person is deeply and
unconditionally shown God’s love.

John 15:9-17

See and download 10 Dimensions of Belonging PDF with these images and descriptions. And try our Erik Carter’s Reflection Tool as you think about how your congregation engages in the dimensions of belonging.