Hospitality: An Overlooked Part of Evangelism

Sarah Bowler's picture

Do you ever wonder how to encourage your family in sharing their faith? Simple steps such as evangelism training go a long way, but one thing often gets forgotten—the role of hospitality.

Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements introduce readers to hospitality as a way of life in The Simplest Way to Change the World.

Sometimes as parents it’s easy to get caught up in the mundane elements of day-to-day child rearing. Our ordinary days seem insignificant. But as these authors point out, Jesus is in the business of taking small things and making them big. Not the other way around.

“In the same way, the ‘smallest’ things in our lives—ordinary days and meals and homes—can have a much larger impact than you’d ever imagine when harnessed with gospel intentionality,” writes Dustin and Brandon.

In our post-modern culture, hospitality may play an increasing role. The authors point out two reasons it’s such a timely opportunity: (1) people are longing for depth of relationship, which is exactly what hospitality provides, and (2) in a culture that is growing away from a fondness and familiarity with Christianity, hospitality gives us a unique avenue to exhibit the gospel and provides a way forward for us in a changing culture.

Throughout their book, they emphasize one main point: “The simplest way to change the world is to leverage your ordinary life for His history-sweeping mission of hospitality.”

What’s more…this is a mission in which the whole family can participate!

That doesn’t mean our homes must look spotless or our meals rival a gourmet chef, but it should mean we are willing to enter into authentic engagement with others both in our homes and in our communities.

Here are a few creative suggestions:

  • Host a movie night in your home or backyard:
    • Make something simple like popcorn or ask your guests to bring snacks.
    • Fill a jar with ice-breaker questions pertaining to the spiritual themes in the movie for discussion starters before (general questions without spoilers) or afterward (specific questions about parts of the movie).
  • Invite your neighbors to go with you and your family to help at a homeless shelter or hand out warm beverages on a cold, winter night. This allows you to demonstrate Christ’s love both to the homeless and to your neighbor.
     
  • Let your kids invite over the neighborhood kids or their classmates. Keep your fridge or pantry stocked with snacks for visitors. Let your home be known as a safe haven.
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