For me, I first met Jesus as a young boy at Ellendale Heights Baptist Church in Guilford in Surrey. The young assistant pastor, Harry, gave an alter call for the young people of the church and I was one of the ones who went up. That became a little bit of sacred ground for me and as a six-year-old, in 1976, I accepted Jesus into my life. (And became a challenge for Harry after that!)
That was an important place for me.
Where did you first meet Jesus?
- For many of you, it might have been at church that you first encountered Jesus.
- Some of you might have met Jesus online.
- Some of you might have first heard about Jesus when you were in your car.
The point that I want to make is that globally, an increasing number of believers are first meeting Jesus in a home. This trend is not just because of house churches. It’s not just because countries are closed and you're not able to build churches. It is because, in a much more generalized sense, people are not choosing to visit a church, but people are still meeting Jesus and choosing to follow him.
In that reality, the home is becoming more and more important as a center of mission. I would say, especially for our neighbors, our home is going to be the most important opportunity they have to meet Jesus.
Hospitality is receiving and treating guests and strangers in a way that is friendly and generous.
Hospitality is a way of making people from outside your home feel at home. Every culture has strong values around hospitality – a lot of ways to do it right and a lot of ways to do it wrong. We won’t look at these specific things here, but I will say that if hospitality is done right, it will naturally result in people feeling loved and valued.
Hospitality opportunities are limited, and so we need to consider how we are going to create more opportunities to practice hospitality.
Now, mission, as a word, is sometimes equated to evangelism.
I'm a chaplain and I want you to know that we join with people on their spiritual journeys through life. We meet people where they are and walk with them as they go along. I believe that there are many valuable points and steps and conversations and moments in someone's journey. And so, I do not mean evangelism when I say "mission". I mean the entire mission of God - which is to love the world, to redeem and restore it.
I think that every single one of us can be involved in that mission every day.
Love is the message of the mission of God. When we are ready to put into practice this idea that love is the message, we can get on mission immediately. We don't have to refine our talking points because we're going to be loving people not messaging them with our perfected truth. Instead, we will be sharing who we are and what we have with them.
Your Home & Mission
Your home becomes the location of mission as the relationships with your guests grow and you love them in personal practical ways.
So, you’ve got to have guests.
And you’ve got to love them.
I am very keen to see all of us extend the mission of God from our homes and to offer a model for more believers to do the same. I want to raise the expectations of mission at my house.
Let’s be missional Christians, who intentionally practice hospitality in the world, in a way that reflects the love of God and the mission of God.
So how do you actually start practicing hospitality in your home? How do you extend the mission of God from your home? For practical ideas, check out Part 2 of this series, "Five Steps to Practice Hospitality in your Home". That article shares a 5-step strategy for practicing hospitality in our homes.
This blog article is based on content from the the webinar "Hospitality as Mission", presented by Chris Morris.
Chris Morris is the National Director for Corporate Chaplains Canada. Chris graduated from SFU with a BA in English Literature and he has a Masters in Applied Theology from Regent College. After pastoring in Burnaby and then teaching overseas, Chris, his wife Lindly and their two girls returned to the Lower Mainland to join Corporate Chaplains Canada. While at Regent, he first heard of workplace chaplaincy and became intrigued at showing Christ’s love for people in the middle of their own life stories at work.