Making disciples of Jesus is best done in the context of your home, whether for your natural children or your spiritual children. Disciples are the children of God; therefore the home is an ideal environment for a disciple to experience, (1) the parental nature of God, (2) what it means to belong to a family, (3) how to love and serve others, and (4) how to attach to brothers and sisters. Children can witness what it means to follow Jesus by observing the daily lives of their parents in various circumstances.
In the West we tend to compartmentalize our lives, often separating our ministry from our home. Even when ministry is conducted in the home, it tends to be done as a “study” or “meeting” rather than being a family gathering. (In the many small group training conferences that I have attended, never did “family” or “a meal” enter the discussion. A house was only a convenient place to hold a meeting.)
Some Benefits of Hospitality:
- Hospitality provides you an opportunity to serve your disciple. (Serving is another way to say “I love you”.)
- Hospitality opens up your life to your disciple. (A person’s home tells a lot about a person. I have been in very few homes of pastors or church leaders.)
- Hospitality provides your disciple an opportunity to observe how you relate to your wife and children.
- Hospitality provides an opportunity for your children to serve others and to learn how to share.
- Hospitality provides an opportunity for your children to love others and for others to love your children. (A hug from a 4 year old will melt any heart.)
- Hospitality provides an opportunity for your children to observe how you minister and interact with others.
- Hospitality provides a place for your disciple to belong.
- Hospitality provides a place for your disciple to serve. (Help cook, help clean up, help with the children)
- Hospitality provides you an opportunity for you to observe how your disciple relates to others.