Today marks the end of an unlikely journey: I wrote a book about hospitality, and it releases today!
The reason I say it’s an unlikely journey is that several years ago, I had no desire to practice hospitality. My wife and I are introverts to the T, so when we heard one of our pastors teach on hospitality as a counter-cultural and meaningful part of God’s mission for us on Earth, we were like “Thanks but no thanks.” The refuge that our small little 80 year old home had become to us was something that we weren’t ready to intentionally share with others.
And then we randomly invited a homeless lady to come live with us. She was sleeping in her car with her dog, and they were eating frozen bacon they found in a dumpster. That was an experience, to say the least. (More of this story is in the book…)
After that, we started intentionally inviting people we wanted to build relationship with over for meals, for back porch hang outs, for parties. Our introvert selves took one step after another, and before long we started getting addicted to the idea of opening our lives and our home to others for the sake of the gospel.
Maybe more than anything else, we realized that if we continued NOT using our home as a weapon for the gospel, we were cutting about 1/3 of our lives off from any sort of meaningful mission. Another third is sleep, and the remaining part is mostly work. That doesn’t leave very much time to join in God’s mission to redeem the planet through Jesus.
So we kept fitfully learning what it’s like to open our lives and homes to others–to use the everyday, mundane meals and moments as opportunities to invite others in and be repentant, imperfect Christians in front of others.
We are still fitfully learning, but it would be safe to say that this shift has changed the way we view our days and lives. Our home is still a refuge for us, but by God’s grace it’s also become a refuge for others, and we’ve seen Jesus do work. One of my favorite things is to remember all the conversations we’ve had with people we love in our home over the years.
And the best thing about all of this is that literally anyone can do it. It takes no drastic move across the globe and no seminary degree. It doesn’t require quitting your day job, and all it takes is a roof and at least one extra seat. It really does feel like the simplest way to change the world.
If you are remotely interested in leveraging your life for the mission of God, I’d love for you to check it out. And I’d love to know what you think. My co-author Dustin Willis and I tried to make it very practical and helpful, and we hope it will be a blessing to you.
If you’re interested, here are some other ways to help:
- Spread the word. Post the Amazon link on Facebook or Twitter, or email the link to anyone you think would benefit from the book personally.
- Write a review. Reviews of books, especially on Amazon, are incredibly helpful for the book to succeed and reach more people. So if you check it out and like it, it would be awesome if you would post a short review!
- Lead your small group through it. We included a 6 week group study at the end to make it super easy for groups to go through the book and discuss how to best apply it.
- Pray for impact. I believe this is a timely message for our culture, and that great fruit could come from many Christians practicing a lifestyle of biblical hospitality.
If you check it out, please email me your thoughts…I’d love to hear them!