The Simplest Way to Change the World
by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements
Why would an introvert with no gift for entertaining read a book on hospitality? True confession: when I clicked on a link in an email to see what the book was about, I was unknowingly requesting a review copy of the book. I have to admit I was intrigued by the subtitle: Biblical Hospitality as a Way of Life, and I had to wonder if maybe, just maybe, God was drawing me out of my comfort zone to show me a way that I could share the love of Jesus with others as a part of my daily life.
The Simplest Way to Change the World presents a biblical basis, both historically and scripturally, for hospitality: making your home, yard, and life open for engaging conversations with both non-Christians and other Christians. It shares the difference between entertaining (a high pressure show to convince others of your worth) and hospitality (opening your heart to others). A discussion of the rhythms of your life shows how to include others in what you and your family are already doing and also to intentionally create opportunities to include others. In addition, there are suggestions for “reverse hospitality”–how to share Jesus’ love with those who are uncomfortable with an invitation into your home or are physically unable to leave their own residence.
The authors include anecdotes from their own experiences as well as tales related by family and friends who are sharing their homes, lives, and hearts with others. They emphasize that hospitality can be planned or spontaneous, and they point out that Jesus’ ministry was not a three step plan, complete with PowerPoint, to bring people into a physical church building. Instead, He wandered from place to place, listening, sharing, and meeting people’s needs.
This is not a difficult read, not a philosophical or religious treatise. It is practical, sometimes humorous, and always interesting. It stimulates readers to think of ways they can use hospitality in their own circumstances, where God has located them, and with the people He brings into their lives. At the end of the book there is a helpful study guide for those who want to use this tool as a church or in a small group setting to learn about hospitality.
And as to the mouse click that brought The Simplest Way to Change the World to my iPad? No regrets here! Reading this book was a blessing.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Moody Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Christian, Nonfiction
Publication: February 1, 2017–Moody Publishing
And while the everyday use of our homes to welcome others may not feel like the most exciting cause in the world, we must remember that ordinary does not equal insignificant.
As you simply listen well, you practice Christ’s compassion. The world is full of people who halfway listen to others just so they can take their turn talking next.
But the voice of God sang a sanguine love song in the rubble of my world.
The end goal of hospitality is care and healing–we do the caring and Jesus does the healing.