Killer App for Outreach

by Ted Esler

What if I told you I knew of a way to communicate the Gospel that far outpaces anything we have come up with so far? Better than sermons, tracts, films and recordings? Better than various church planting strategies, community development, health workers or education?

Yes, better than all of those and more. What if this new “app” required little training and almost anybody could do it? Low cost, highly reproducible and simple… yet powerful in its influence.

Well, you can stop imagining what this killer app is because it HAS been invented.

It’s called hospitality.

This morning while working out I listened to Russell Moore’s interview with Rosaria Butterfield (you can find it by clicking here – I highly recommend it).

Rosaria was a lesbian professor before becoming a follower of Christ. Her conversion story is both remarkable and unremarkable. It is remarkable (as all conversions are) in the way that God broke through to her. It is unremarkable in the means which God used: the gracious hospitality of a pastor and his wife.

One of the things she notes in the interview is that the gay community has a particular focus on hospitality. It wasn’t until she experienced the love of Christ in somebody’s home that she could begin to see Jesus for who he is. She says that the church does not “compete well” in this area of hospitality.

Missionaries and agency staff, in what ways are you utilizing hospitality in your outreach? Could it be that loving hospitality is being overlooked?

Church mission leaders, are you steeping your congregations in teaching about the role and importance of hospitality in loving our neighbors? I think of the millions of foreigners living among us who will never sit at our tables. We need to change that.

Let us become people known for our hospitality to others.

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