Summary: From Luke 10 let's talk about presence, peace and hospitality (Material adapted from M. Scott Boren's book, Missional Small Groups, Chapter 8, pg. 131- 162)
Recruits in the army are told, “Always dig your foxholes big enough for two.” More effort to do so, but it could save a life. Making room for more people in our lives is good and missional.
Missional- Missionaries to other countries have two different approaches. 1) The missionaries go with a clear plan for reaching people in that culture. Before they ever get on the field, the plan is in place. This may or may not work. 2) The missionaries go to the field, live among the people and listen to them. They listen to their pains, their joys, and their needs. Then they pray. They pray that God will guide them on how to reach these people with the gospel. They might find that they need to listen even more to the people and that is their next step. Just paying attention to where the needs are and trying to help meet the needs.
Think about Jesus and how he reached us. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us...” John 1:14, NIV. ““The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”--which means, “God with us.”” Matthew 1:23, NIV.
Many times we think of this in big terms, as in God is with us in the person of Jesus for the sake of the entire world. While Jesus came for the entire world, he did this in a very local way. Jesus moved into our neighborhood. His primary ministry was to Galilee. He did not take on the entire world in his ministry. He was a local minister. To be in a neighborhood is to be relational. And to be relational is to be present.
Scott Boren- When I hear the word evangelism, I immediately think about a friend who called me when I lived in Houston. He and his wife wanted to take me to lunch. He was not a close friend, but I was honored by the invitation, so much so I was willing to forsake watching a Dallas Cowboys football game. While eating lunch with him, I soon realized that he had a message to share with me. He had just been to a multilevel marketing conference, and before returning to his home in North Texas, he wanted to give me the opportunity to get in on this great money making venture. He was excited about what he was sharing; to him it was good news. But all I could think about was the fact that I had just wasted an opportunity to watch a Cowboys game. I have never heard from him since. Later I realized that my reaction to him is very similar to that of some of the people I had previously forced to listen to me share about Jesus. I wasn’t interested in them, I was just interested in what I had to share. Instead of a conversation it was more like a monologue where they couldn’t get a word in edgewise. All the research confirms that people primarily come to Christ through significant relationships. Unfortunately, like a salesperson who builds a relationship with someone to make the big sale, too many Christians do something similar when they try to share Christ. We find prospects and when nothing happens we drop them like a salesperson who moves on to someone else. Need a better strategy.
In Luke 10 Jesus set an example for us by sending the disciples out in pairs. There are many examples of individuals who had a grand vision and worked to accomplish it. However, we find that these ideas did not take off until a team of people began to live the vision together. An individual cannot do this alone. Being present in a community is best done by two or more people so they can demonstrate how they live together in front of others. When we live in a community where Christian relationships are demonstrated, we give people an opportunity to feel the life of the gospel and not just hear it.
Word of caution from the context: When we look at Luke 10 we must understand that this is not a current ministry model. Jesus is sending these disciples out to prepare the way for him as he goes to Jerusalem for the last time. Two by two is good but some of this does not apply today.
Thesis: Luke 10 talk about presence, peace and hospitality
Presence (Luke 10:1-4)
We often talk about and say this prayer. Notice that the workers are going into the harvest field. These workers are living in the local culture and focused on doing the small stuff of the kingdom for a specific group of people so they can actually experience and feel the life of Christ in and through Christians as Christians relate to one another.