Romans 15:7“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” ESV
Hebrews 13:1-2“Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.” CSB
1 Peter 4:9“Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” CSB
Jesus’ vision of the church that would besiege the gates of hell did not consist of a group of people gathered around one anointed leader, but multiple leaders going out in the power of the Spirit. It’s a claim that very few take seriously: Jesus literally said that that a multiplicity of Spirit-filled leaders would be greater than his earthly, bodily presence (John 14:12).
Now I want you to imagine the kind of power and impact a church could make if its ordinary members knew what it meant to be filled and lead by the Spirit of God. We actually get a picture of this in the book of Acts. Throughout that book we see most of the miraculous “Acts” that took place were actually outside of the church and done by “regular” Christians. Not the leaders!
So the question for us is HOW? What opportunities are there for me to be a part of God’s mission to change the world?
I honestly believe that one of the simplest and yet most powerful ways to be used by God is through HOSPITALITY.
Sound like a let-down? When we think of changing the world, we think of preaching to stadiums full of people, we think of sweeping revivals in foreign lands. But let’s face it, most of us are never going to preach to a stadium full of people and we haven’t been called to go to a foreign land.
So does that mean we don’t get to be a part of God’s mission? NO. Absolutely not. In fact, we are missionaries, right where we live.
“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” – C.H. Spurgeon
So how can we be a missionary? How can we be used by the Holy Spirit right where we live?
I want to give us several ways to think, that I believe God will use to grow us in our Outreach.
1. THINK YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
What if we all viewed our neighborhoods as our mission field? And we viewed our homes as a Gospel outpost, a spiritual hospital for hurting people?
The secret weapon for gospel advancement is hospitality, but unfortunately to many of us view our homes as a retreat or a refuge. We have separated the way we view the Great Commission and the place we live. But when we do that we are actually waisting a powerful and God-ordained means of changing the world.
Think about how many times Jesus just sat and ate with people. Some of the most powerful stories in the New Testament take place around a dinner table! I mean, think about THE LAST SUPPER!
On average we spend about 2/3rds of our lives in our homes. Let’s not separate such a large portion of our lives from God can do through us. Sometimes we think BIG MISSION must have BIG TACTICS, but Jesus often accomplishes BIG works with SMALL means.
He came as a baby. He fed thousands with 5 loaves and 2 fish. He started the world wide church with just a handful of men. Even Goliath was defeated with a few small stones.
So instead of thinking about your home as a RETREAT from God’s mission, view it as a WEAPON for God’s mission. When we invite into our homes and lives this who are far from God, essentially we are saying to them, God loves you and He hasn’t given up on you. We present them that message with our actions before we even get a chance to share the gospel with our words. When we do this repeatedly, it changes the world.
A. Grill in your front yard, not your back yard.
B. Don’t just smile and wave at your neighbors. TALK TO THEM.
C. When you are in your garage, keep the door open. Don’t park in your garage.
D. Have set nights in your schedule for hosting people.
E. Host your Connection Group for game nights.
F. Do a Next Step Bible Studies in your home.
2. THINK YOUR RHYTHMS
All of our lives have rhythms. We have sport seasons, we have holidays, we have summer vacations, we have birthday parties. Start thinking about how you can leverage those to do more hospitality.
So how can we leverage the natural rhythms of our lives for the Mission of God?
A. Invite your neighbors and co-workers over for your holiday celebrations.
B. Throw a Trunk-or-Treat for the kids in your neighborhood.
C. Host a neighborhood Easter Egg hunt.
D. Throw a Pizza Party / BBQ at the end of your child’s sport season.
E. Invite your neighbors over to your children’s birthday parties.
F. Host a Super Bowl Party.
G. Host a neighborhood BBQ for the 4th of July.
H. Play dates are a great way to leverage a natural season of life.
Most of these things you are already doing. All it takes is a little bit of intentionality to invite people who need Jesus.
3. THINK GOSPEL INTENTIONALITY
When God was speaking with Moses in the burning bush he asked Moses what it was he had in his hand. The answer was just a simple staff, yet God used it to become a symbol and tool to demonstrate His mighty power!
The point of all of this is to help us begin to ask the question, what are the simple things God has placed in my life that can be used and leveraged for the mission of God.
Our goal is not to be known as the fun couple in the neighborhood. The goal is to build relationships and look for opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus with the people in our lives. In order for this to be real Biblical hospitality, there must be a gospel intentionality. That doesn’t mean you will give everyone a sermon every time they walk through your door, but it does mean you are building relationships with the purpose of sharing Jesus.
People are way more eager to hear about God’s grace than we are to speak of it. People are hungry for the good news of Jesus. So let’s leverage our homes, let’s leverage the things that God has put in our lives to share that good news.
BOOK: The Simplest Way To Change The World by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements