WELCOMING STRANGERS

Welcoming Strangers

Monday, April 20, 2020

 

Canadian Christians are faced with an ongoing challenge of following Christ in an increasingly secular society.  Christianity is exclusive--Jesus says there is only one way to the father, through him (Jn. 14:6).  Our society has placed a high value on inclusion and tolerance, putting many Christians at odds with prevailing societal trends.  Canadian culture is being reshaped by liberal immigration policies which are contributing toward Canada becoming one of the most ethnically diverse nations in the world.  A biblical understanding of how Christians should welcome strangers is imperative for our day. 

We all wrestle with the challenge of how Christians can welcome strangers.  How do we demonstrate love toward people who are very different from us?  This grounded research investigation of the phenomenon of evangelical hospitality toward Syrian immigrants in Canada sets the course for an important study on the impact of practicing hospitality toward people who are strangers to us.  While this study is focused on Syrian immigrants, I suspect that what is learned will have application toward interactions with people from other ethnic, religious, or geographic backgrounds, or even for those who may feel like moral or ethical strangers due to strongly held opinions or beliefs. 

This study establishes the importance of hospitality in the early church, both as a command of Christ and as a factor in the rapid growth of the early Christian church.  Hospitality was an integral component in the mission of the church and it should continue to be of great importance to the church today. 

The data collected for this research project will include demographic and geographic data gathered through surveys and documents.  The heart of the research will be provided through interviews with church leaders and individuals involved in hospitality ministry in evangelical congregations.  Careful attention will be given to the interview process.  The intent of the researcher is to listen to the stories of the participants and document how they describe their feelings, attitudes, and experiences as hosts. 

Reflecting on the data, I hope to identify effective ways for Canadian evangelicals to recover the biblical art of hospitality and discover fresh responses to the complex contemporary call for Canada to be a tolerant society.  Canadian Christians need an informed theology of what it means to be tolerant and inclusive as Christians.  We must learn how to see others the way God sees them.  This study should help us identify what it looks like to be a “Good Samaritan” in our modern culture and context.

Experiencing New Vitality Presentation

 

 


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Welcoming Strangers: Church Revitalization through the practice of Biblical Hospitality
Dr. Craig Kraft's dissertation on Welcoming Strangers. 
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Book Recommendation: The Bible and Borders
A Book Review & Recommendation for "The Bible and Borders: Hearing God's Word on Immigration"
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Why Making Space Isn't Enough
Welcoming Strangers recommends this article from Banner. The world today feels as divisive as ever. Abortion, refugee resettlement, immigration, gun control, and freedom of religion are just a few topics that have pitte...
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Connecting Well With Others in Times of Separation
This video message from Dr. Craig Kraft was recorded for Northstar Church in Quesnel, BC,  July 2020. The message is based on Philippians 1 and provides a look at four ways to maintain hope in challenging times, hospita...
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A Vanilla Life: 5 Questions to Consider as you Build Cross-Cultural Friendships
  5 Questions to Consider as you Build Cross-Cultural Friendships. Vanilla describes most of my childhood: Food was predictable, community was homogenous, and the exotic or unusual was reserved for travelogue ...
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Widening our welcome
Rene James looks at how God gives life through our hospitality. Welcoming Strangers recommends this article from Faith Today. 
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Why Canada Needs Biblical Hospitality
Jesus demonstrated how one can balance the tension between pursuing holiness and being a friend of sinners, and he did it through hospitality. 
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Hospitality in the Early Church
Hospitality was one of the factors that led to the discipleship and rapid expansion of the early church. The second blog in the series "Understanding Hospitality in a Western Context", this blog takes a brief look at th...
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Hospitality in Scripture
Hospitality is a powerful practice with the potential to bring restoration and revitalization to souls in need.  It is a virtue, espoused in scripture, through God’s earliest interactions with the patriarchs right throu...
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Experiencing New Vitality Presentation
Slides for use with Craig Kraft's presentation "Experiencing new vitality through the ancient art of hospitality."
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