If you would ask pretty much anyone on the street what the holidays are about they would say home and family and friends. Sadly, not everyone has these blessings, especially over the holidays.
Last weekend I attended a conference with some friends. The conference was about hospitality and seeing your neighbor. There were so many nuggets of inspiration in the 36 hours we were there, but a couple things really stood out.
As Christians we are commanded to evangelize. We all shy away from that word and feel like it means standing on the street corner with a microphone yelling at passersby. Evangelism is not that.
Practically, evangelism is an everyday practice of the heart in our homes and in our lives. Phylicia Masonheimer gave four ways to practice evangelism and hospitality.
- Open your door.
- Open your heart.
- Be Curious. Learn to ask the right questions.
- Open your mind and listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
People will see Jesus in our lives if we invite them to participate in our lives.
Over the holidays this season, I challenge you to exercise this muscle. Open your home to people that you don’t normally thing to invite. Ask good questions and create relationships. You never know when the Holy Spirit will direct you with both words and opportunities (at the same time) to share the Gospel.
Open your Door
- Invite a Neighbor to walk with you daily. This creates space to become friends and then invite them into your home.
- If your like me and have plans the week of Thanksgiving and Christmas, celebrate early. Invite neighbors over for a Friendsgiving. Celebrate Christmas with a little Christmas Bingo or White Elephant party.
- Grab a group of friends and carol to your neighbors. Invite them to grab their coats and join you. Then end up at your house for hot chocolate and s'mores around a campfire.
Open Your Heart and Mind to your Neighbors
When God provides an opportunity to disciple someone one-on-one, take it. Allow Him to speak through you. Only say the words he has given you, otherwise it will be ill-timed and may not be received well.
Ask good questions. Recently one of my friends introduced me to this game. The Hygge Game is the perfect way to begin conversations both surface and deep in a group that may otherwise not be conversational. Learn to build on what the other person is saying and continue to ask deeper and deeper questions until you are no longer in small talk, but wading through deep conversations.
Don't be Distracted with Details
There are so many other tips I could give you about how to prepare your home, or how to meal prep and shop for a large crowd, or how I do some of these things in my own home. Honestly, find what works for you. Build on that, and ask God to lead you to people that need love and family this season. He’ll take care of the rest.