Many churches have sought ways to reach people for Christ. Some have tried giveaways which can draw a crowd but only for a short time. Others have tried some new programs to bring people into the church building. Still, there are others that have even tried to bring in a celebrity who is a Christian and it does not produce the result they wanted.
Perhaps reaching out to the lost by bringing them to the church building may not be a the best way these days. Perhaps the church needs to try something a little different that will challenge some people's comfort zone. Maybe the best place to reach out to the lost begins in a Christian home. I am not talking about raising a Christian family. I am talking about Christians practicing the lost art of hospitality where they open their homes to their neighbors and friends as well as church members.
Why should the church practice hospitality and how should a family engage in such a ministry? This is where Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements come in with their book, The Simplest Way To Change The World: Biblical Hospitality As A Way of Life. I know that is a mouthful, but it delivers what the book is about. J.D. Greear wrote the forward to the book where he said that the church normally thinks of a missionary as one who goes to a foreign land to minister to the people. While that is a great ministry, the church has looked at narrow view of missionary. Have you ever considered that God has placed you in your home in the neighborhood it is in for ministry.
Greear said that God's plan to glorify himself never consisted of megachurch buildings nor elaborate personalities, but in working with ordinary people in as they go through everyday life. Willis and Clements share that hospitality is a secret weapon the church has in order to minister to people. Hospitality means we open our imperfect homes to imperfect people showing ourselves to be imperfect as well but we rely on a Savior that saves us.
Willis and Clements begin the book with the potential of the ministry of hospitality that can reach more people than bringing them to a church building can do, although that is still important. They show how God is a Hospitable God to imperfect people and how Christ has welcomed us into the Kingdom of God. Because Jesus has welcomed us, we ought to welcome everyone that comes our way.
Willis and Clements continue on by showing their readers how to get their ministry of hospitality started. They even addressed what things they should plan and even how to get the gospel to them. They also wrote about what other ways believers can use their homes in ministry to others.
Hospitality is a lost art and the church must embrace it. These are the days, where people do not want to have an in-depth conversation out on the street or go straight to a church building although these things still happen. Our neighborhoods are ripe for harvest. Christians should be praying and actively seeking what they can do to reach their neighbors for Jesus. This does take time, planning, and a lot of prayer. This book will serve you as a guide in beginning a ministry of hospitality in your home.