An Easy and Effective Evangelism Strategy

20120911-083848.jpgI read a great little book today by John Koenig entitled New Testament Hospitality. Its a fairly slim, not particularly well-known, academic study of the hospitality theme within the NT – particularly Acts. I suspect Chester’s book, Meal with Jesus, says similar things but haven’t got round to reading that one yet. The thesis of the book is that hospitality often acts as a catalyst for mission, with Acts being like an anthology of guest-host stories. Hospitality includes the smaller and larger koinonia gatherings, to which people would have naturally bought along ‘outsiders’ to enjoy, observe, and participate with these attractive ‘banquet communities’. Koenig describes the table as the providential place of opportunity – to talk, laugh, share, and help – places where the power of God in creating these new communities can be seen and experienced first hand. So . . . eat food, have fun, invite friends, adorn the gospel. Now there’s an evangelistic strategy we can all drink to.

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5 thoughts on “An Easy and Effective Evangelism Strategy

  1. Whilst everything in me wants to go with this (because I’m wired for hospitality) can I raise the ‘cultural’ question? Because in 1st (c) near east hospitality was the social norm – but in 21st (c) UK it is not so clear. Within certain social classes and groups it is normal to have people round for meals – but for others it wouldn’t be at all. So whilst I would agree it is a great strategy in certain contexts I would be nervous about universalising it. Because I think to do so we’ll miss a whole load of people who aren’t like us…

    1. good point Sweets. I suppose a follow up question (to which I don’t know the answer) might be is that cultural thing neutral? – so is it ok for a certain strand of culture not to be into hospitality, or is that privatised unwillingness a result of sin (again, I don’t know the answer). I reckon our problem is more to do with mobilising people who could to do.

      1. You raise another interesting question. But regardless of whether or not it is a result of sin (which I suspect it might be) it would still be a genuine barrier, which might suggest this strategy is not as easy as you might first think.
        However, I take your point, that regardless of all of this, there is still a mobilisation issue…

  2. Certainly where we are going round for dinner parties is culturally odd. But perhaps our idea of hospitality needn’t be fixed on dinner parties…

    1. Absolutely Watto – hospitality can be so much more. It’s simply about having those open spaces which facilitate relational engagement. A couple of mugs (no jokes!) is all that’s needed.

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