"The more the world changes, the more it stays the same." That's how the old saying goes. Computers, the internet, and smartphones all seem like they have changed everything, and they have -- but they haven't. Not really. Our very human hearts still long to feel as though we are OK, even though we suspect we are not. We still long for human connection, even as we fear the vulnerability that it brings. We still long for stability while hungering for new things, and desire to do what feels good, even if it kills us.
In short, humans are still human regardless of the device that holds our attention.
Sometimes, when it comes to the command of Jesus to make disciples, we forget that, and we fixate on using technological means to tell people about Jesus. These technologies might be printed tracts, christian movies, or evangelistic revival services. A method doesn't have to involve computer chips to be a technology. Other people may fixate on music concerts, light shows, or social media to draw in crowds to hear the News. Either way, we are making the same assumption -- that the message requires machinery.
The Good News of Jesus is pretty powerful stuff. So whether it is delivered on a little folded piece of paper, or through a 40 foot projection screen, God can and does use all of these means to penetrate and soften hearts. Making disciples for Jesus, however, does not require machinery, or marketing, or any other kind of technique. Churches don't have to invest enormous amounts of money in electronics and software. They can still make disciples, and do it very effectively. All you need is a table, some chairs, and some food.
Hospitality is the oldest form of evangelism. Or, to use different words, you could call it friendship and sharing. This is good news for Churches like ours. We don't have a big budget. We don't have lots of people. And frankly, the ones that we do have are kind of old and a little tired (don't worry, this is not news to us. Just calling it like it is). But that doesn't have to stop us. We can still make friends. We can still invite people to sit with us and eat while we listen, and talk, and share our lives. It can be in your home, or in a coffee shop, or at a picnic table. It really doesn't matter. It's about you and your friend, sharing food, and time, and your lives.
And when we do that, crazy things happen. You might find yourself sharing Jesus along with the entree. We serve up gospel love, along with dessert. Our guests may ask for seconds, or they may let the dish pass. That is not our concern. Our job is to love, to share, to serve. But still, experience shows that many people discover they have a taste for a spiritual food they had never tried before, and they find that it satisfies something they have been desiring for years.
That's the writer of this this article on Biblical Hospitality discovered. Read about what happens when you start just loving your neighbors for Jesus sake, and comment on your thoughts and experiences.
United Baptist Church
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