I am continuing my quest to understand true biblical hospitality and I have been slowly reading and researching several books on this topic. Though I have already written several posts on hospitality (here and here), I want to introduce you to another great book that has been helpful in shaping my understanding of Christian hospitality. The Simplest Way To Change The World was written by two pastors, Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements. Both have a heart for the lost and a desire to see the church leverage the simplicity of opening up your home to others as the gateway into transforming community.
Designed to be either a stand-alone read or a six-week small group study, the book is as theologically sound as it is practical. Split into two sections, Willis and Clements first lay out the “potential” of hospitality by showing what it was designed to produce in the kingdom of God and then a “plan” in which they give very helpful how to’s and suggestions for making this a reality in your own busy life.
What I enjoyed most of all about their approach is they base everything on the reality that God is the premier example of hospitality. “It may seem strange to think of it this way, but the entire Bible is a story of God’s hospitality.” They echo the call that Paul gives to “Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7).
We are made in the image of a hospitable God and therefore hospitality ought to be a defining mark of God’s people. “We must remember that the church has progressed through two millennia on God’s power at work around ordinary kitchen tables and living rooms. God has always been forming a hospitable people to put His hospitality on display, and if you are in Christ, you’re now a part of God’s hospitable people.”
So, if you want to grow in your understanding and practice of loving others into the church through hospitality, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book. Make it a team effort and invite others to read it with you so that together you can participate in changing the world.
Author: Rev. Wes Andrews