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Church Strategy

Tools and Trends for Strategic Planning

Homes Improving, Friends Diminishing.  Americans will spend $121.5 billion on improving their homes in 2010.  They’re picking drapes, adding rooms, redoing kitchens.  And yet loneliness is rising.  In 1985, only seven percent of people didn’t have a close confidante.  That number was 24% by 2004.

Emphasizing hospitality will build community and keep your congregation from being home alone. (Image from: franklinskbtrainingblog.blogspot.com)

We spend more than ever building our homes and less time than ever inviting people into them.

We have more house and less hospitality.  Your neighbor just added a guest bedroom, but he has fewer guests.

And, unless you’ve been actively teaching your people about the biblical view of hospitality, pastor, it’s your fault.

The Way to a Vibrant Church.  As a young pastor, you quickly learned that you couldn’t be everything to everyone.  Ministry had to happen in a community, in a network, not just from the top down.

Imagine a church full of people who know one another and love one another.  They the names of one another’s kids.  They feel comfortable dropping by on one another.

It’s completely possible and most of the people in your pews want deeper connections that come in community.  But here’s the secret: Community doesn’t happen at church.  And it doesn’t happen in mid-week studies at church.  And often it doesn’t even happen in small group Bible studies.

It happens person to person, family to family, meal by meal, in homes.  In homes?

The Bible and Hospitality.  It’s all over the New Testament.  If God was going to form a new community of people with new beliefs, it was going to happen in homes.  Consider a quick sampling:

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers. (Hebrews 13:2)

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  (1 Peter 4:9)

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.  (Romans 12:13)

Therefore an overseer must be…hospitable…. (1 Timothy 3:2)

For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be…hospitable…. (Titus 1:7-8)

It’s so good and so biblical… So why don’t we talk about it?

The Sermon You Rarely Give.  You find yourself preaching often about the “glamour issues” – sexuality, money, power, service.  You’re often answering the questions about how we use our bodies, finances, influence, and time.  But what about how we use the homes that God has given us?

God talks about it a lot.  Why don’t you?

Next time, I’ll discuss ways to create community by encouraging hospitality in your congregation.

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