How Hospitality Leads To The Spread of the Gospel


One of the things I’ve learned about sharing the gospel with people since I started planting house churches is that there are significantly better ways to lead people to Jesus than inviting them to a church service. This is true regardless of whether you attend a house church or not.

In fact, one of the best ways you can be a light and present Jesus to those you know is to invite them into your home.

I know. Your home is your castle. Or your safe space. Or you just have a mess on your floor and you don’t want people over. I get it.

But inviting people into your home is the easiest way for people to see how a Christian really lives. It allows you to be vulnerable and share possibly the most precious thing you have with someone. All of this is an opportunity to talk about Jesus.

Don’t get me wrong. You’ll still have to share the gospel. You’ll still have to call people to repent and believe in Jesus. Just the mere fact of opening your door does not remove the obligation to speak the truth of the gospel. But it does open the doors of other peoples’ hearts for you to share the gospel with them.

This is why Jesus commands people to spread the gospel by staying at a house of peace (Luke 10:5-7), why the early church met from house to house (Acts 5:42), and why Paul wrote to Timothy and told him to only appoint leaders who “enjoy having guests in [their] home,” (1 Timothy 3:2).  Jesus, Peter, John, and Paul all knew the value of welcoming outsiders into a home.

Let me tell you a quick story.

Fifteen months ago my dad purchased a used basketball hoop and dropped it off in my backyard without telling me. We put it up in our driveway and didn’t think much of it. This past spring, we started noticing young boys from our neighborhood showing up and playing basketball without asking us.

We had two choices. We could chase them away or we could take the time to build relationships with these kids and see where it went. And while the latter choice would be time consuming and mean our stuff would get used more roughly, we took it.

Eventually the boys started needing water. So we had cups with each kids name on it that we’d give them. Then we’d give them simple snacks. Before you knew it, sometimes 7-10 kids were eating at our dinner table, playing video games with our kids, and listening to Bible stories with us before bed. We chose to be a place where they would feel welcome and they kept showing up.

We’ve probably shared the gospel this year more with our neighborhood than in many of our previous years. And all of it started because we welcomed some kids who we could have easily turned away.

For you, it might not be a basketball hoop in your driveway. Maybe it’s your kitchen table and a cup of coffee with a neighbor who is struggling. Maybe it’s a meal with a young family around your dinner table. Maybe its the poker table in your basement that guys from your neighborhood gather around. But I guarantee you, if you look for ways to use your home for the gospel, something will turn up.

The question is, are you willing?


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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

6 responses to “How Hospitality Leads To The Spread of the Gospel”

  1. godly sexuality says :

    Love this Travis. Absolutely love this.

    • traviskolder says :

      John, thanks for this comment. I can’t thank you enough for the commenting, sharing, and general encouragement you’ve been, especially since I’ve been writing more regularly. I need to find a way to do the same for you. But it means a lot.

  2. davaocityoutreach says :

    We sure know this to be true! Our church (in Davao City, Philippines) has been meeting in our house, & we feed everyone who comes.
    Some have admitted that they started coming for the food, but they were hooked by the Bread of Life.

    We have outgrown this place, & next month we’ll start meeting in a roofed basketball court (still feeding everyone).
    And we will use that court for God’s glory, inviting Filipino boy’s & men join join us in games.

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