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Before we adopted our two precious children, I had grand visions of how life would be. We would be the family that spent our nights digging into God’s Word, rarely watched TV, and spoke only words laced with kindness. Plus, would would open our home with grace and practice biblical hospitality often.
Fast forward 9 years and two special needs diagnosis’ later, and I laugh thinking about my original vision. While reality can be messy, I realize that as a family we can still find practical ways to learn and share the Gospel together. In fact, helping my family grow strong roots of faith and live it out loud is my biggest priority as a mom.
The more we discover God’s Word, the more we’re drawn to sharing His message of hope. We’re learning that building intentional friendships and relationships through biblical hospitality is a simple way to share the Good News of Jesus as a family.
How to Share the Gospel Through Biblical Hospitality
Build relationships and community
As Christians, it’s easy to stay in our comfort zone and not get to know those who aren’t in our church circle. Yet Jesus befriended imperfect people, and more importantly, invited them into His life. He didn’t shy away from those who were different, but sought to build community even with those rejected by men. (Matthew 9:9-13)
As a family, think of those you know who aren’t in your close circle of friends and that may need to hear the good news of the Gospel or need to be reminded of God’s love for them. Take intentional steps to get to know them and start to build a relationship with them.
Consider them your “mission family”.
Be sure, though, to keep your intentions authentic as you seek to build a bond of friendship with this family. Don’t let them feel like a project or they are your way to live biblical hospitality in action.
To build a solid relationship with them, you may wish to:
– Host an informal dinner
– Invest in neighbor relationships by holding a block party
– Host a family movie night
– Invite your mission family over for game night
-Take a meal to someone when there’s a need, even if you don’t have a close relationship
As you get to know these new friends, your goal should be to lay a foundation of trust which can later lead to conversations about Jesus. Through your authentic relationship, you have the opportunity to plant seeds of the Gospel and to cultivate a bond based on trust.
Teaching your children to serve is a wonderful way to instill Christ-like character and to look for opportunities to put biblical hospitality in action. Plus, it will solidify new relationships and show your “mission family” how much you care. Nothing shows the tangible love of Jesus like doing an act of service!
Some service ideas include:
- Cutting the grass for a neighbor
- Baking a treat to give to your “mission family”
- Babysitting a friend’s child
- Taking a meal to someone in need
- Sending a card to show you care
Visit Best Random Acts of Kindness for Kids and Families for ideas on how to get the whole family serving together.
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Be respectful of differing views
While it may be common to argue over differing viewpoints in today’s world, vow to avoid confrontation about social issues. As you’re building a relationship with your mission family, avoid preaching or handing out judgment as they share their views.
The Bible takes a clear stand on many sensitive topics, and while you’re trying to build a bond of trust, tough subjects need to be handled with grace and understanding. Be gentle in correction and with your response to issues of the world.
Your mission for biblical hospitality should be to love well, like Jesus, and point others to truth. Your home should reflect the warmth and character of Christ, and be a safe haven for all to be loved well, even if they have differing views.
Be invested in their lives
In connection and community with another family, you have the perfect opportunity to let Jesus shine with your words and actions. Be regular with your contact and invested on the details of their lives. Nothing builds a relationship quicker than letting other people know they matter.
- Send a text after the big game or text, asking how the event went
- Show up when they invite you to events
- Listen well and pick up small cues and details about their lives to ask them about another time
- Be available in a crisis or tough situation
Be authentic and transparent
One of the things I love about biblical hospitality, is that it’s not about perfection.
It’s not focused around a perfectly decorated home, mopped floors, or even a home that’s clean.
Instead, it’s about welcoming others in with open arms, regardless of our messy homes and messy lives.
It’s about letting our guard down and being transparent in a way that fosters deeper relationships and points to the perfection of Christ, and not about the perfection in our lives.
Be a safe place to land
As hardships come, be a support and encouragement to your mission family. Since you have invested in their lives and built a bond of trust, look for opportunities to share the hope of Jesus.
It won’t be forced or awkward since it will be an honest and heartfelt conversation between friends. Your opinion will be sought, welcomed and considered by your newest, trusted friend.
Biblical hospitality is a demonstration of Christ in action. It’s where we put aside our pride and perfection to invite others into our messy reality. In return, may we love like Jesus, with open arms and open hearts, ready to water the seeds of faith that hospitality plants.
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