Have you ever watched the news and thought, ‘What is the world coming to?’ Do you have a difficult time with some of your neighbours or co-workers? Do you ever stop to think, What can I do to change things; there’s just too much wrong? Well pastors Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements have written this book to show the things that disconnect us from each other and the things we can do to help reconnect and change our small corner of the world with Christian love.
This is a book about putting aside the distractions that disconnect us, getting past the idea that our houses are only for our own personal refuge against the world, and beginning to practice the kind of hospitality that God has shown to us throughout the history as laid out in the Bible. They take the apostle Paul’s greeting to the church at Thessalonica, “We loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” (1 Thess. 2:8 NIV, emphasis added by the authors.) They give simple basic ideas that can change not only the lives of those around us but our own as well. Barbecue in the front yard instead of the back and have enough food to feed a large group. Rather than putting up a hammock in the back yard, put in a patio with a large table to make it people friendly. Invite people over to watch the game. Host a pot luck. Invite a co-worker who’s into sports to meet for a game of ultimate frisbee in the park. Set aside one night a week to invite a small group to dinner. Be a good listener. Share your family; share your lives.
There are 12 chapters in the book and it’s set up so that it can be used as a 6-week, small group study. The study chapters at the back are easy to follow, well laid out, and full of discussion growth and challenge. There are many examples throughout the book of how lives were impacted and relationships deepened. There are also blunders that show us pitfalls to avoid and how God can even use blunders to create a caring atmosphere that draws lonely people into fellowship. Questions at the end of each chapter challenge you to look at how you might join the mission field of extending God’s hospitality.
This is an amazing concept that may not be new to you and maybe you already practice hospitality in your home. There will still be ideas in this book to take it further. At the end, there are resources and notes which can be useful if you wish to expand the vision. We can only hope and pray that this book will impact all those who read it and, in turn, impact their small corner of the world. * * * * *
I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.