PREACHING THE GOSPEL: PART 2
by Gavin Bennett & John Mark Comer
BEGIN WITH PRAYER (5 MINUTES)
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
READ THIS OVERVIEW (5 MINUTES)
With each passing year, our culture becomes increasingly post-Christian. People are more hostile to the gospel of Jesus than ever before. And yet this is nothing new, since we know that Jesus himself faced anger and antagonism in his culture. But how did he overcome that? One meal at a time. In story after story, we read of Jesus eating and drinking the lost. In doing so, he set a timeless practice into motion. This practice is what the New Testament writers go on to call “hospitality.” And while the practice of hospitality is directed at those inside and outside the church, the Greek word literally means “the love of a guest.” Hospitality is expressing the welcome of God the Father to all through tangible acts of love, ideally through giving food, shelter, and relationship.
Our Practice for the coming week is incredibly simple: follow Jesus’ example of eating and drinking with somebody who has yet to experience the Father’s welcome. The beauty of this Practice is that anybody can do it.
READ OVER THIS COMING WEEK’S PRACTICE (10 MIN)
Here’s the Practice for the coming week:
Exercise #1: Listening Prayer
- (If you can, get somewhere quiet for this one. If you are not able to, that’s ok.)
- Invite the Holy Spirit to give shape to your imagination. Ask him to bring a name or face of someone to mind who does not know God that you can share a meal with in the coming week(s).
- Contact that person and invite them to share a meal with you.
Exercise #2: Share a Meal with Somebody
- This next part is pretty straightforward – eat and drink with somebody!
- Ideally, open your home or apartment. If that doesn’t work, invite them to a third space (a restaurant, park, etc.)
- This might be a great time to learn how to cook a few good meals. A quick search of the internet will yield loads of easy-to-prepare, super delicious meals.
- As you host the meal, think of creative ways to express the love and welcome of Jesus toward your guest.
- During your time together, ask questions, listen, and don’t be afraid to share meaningful conversation. At the same time, view small talk as a form of hospitality, of creating room for the guest. Just focus on loving them, not on“selling them” on Jesus.
- Pray for your guest before, during, and after your meal. You don’t have to do this out loud; it’s actually ok if they don’t know you’re doing it. Just ask God for whatever you want to see God do in their life.
WORK THROUGH THESE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (10 – 15 MINUTES)
- Any thoughts, creative ideas, or feedback on this coming week’s Practice?
- Anyone have any cool stories about doing something like this in the past?
- Is there anybody in your life who immediately comes to mind that you want to share a meal with?