Acceptance: Institutional or Confessional?

I reflected about acceptance at camp and in the church several days ago. My friend, Ben Simpson, clarified for me a distinction in acceptance through sharing the following:

Institutional acceptance is based on a characteristic of a particular institution, organization or community.

Confessional acceptance is based on our confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and the character of the God that we serve.

I have experienced churches to be accepting based on a mix of these in varying degrees. Can you have one without the other? How do they interact?

Institute: The Clique Where Everyone is In (1 of 5)

I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.

On the first day, I realized that Institute is a clique. There are insider language, traditions, games, jokes and expectations. My first response was negative, do high school students really need another clique? As the week continued I realized a significant difference in the clique that is Institute and others which exist in the world:

Institute is a clique where everyone is in.

If you are present at the camp, you are in. You can be part of the exclusive group, learn the traditions, language, games, jokes and expectations. Everyone is accepted into the clique.

What about your local church? Is there there insiders and outsiders? How do the common words and practices of your local church seem to those who are new? Is everyone in?