The Simplest Way to Change the World: Biblical Hospitality As a Way of LifeDustin Willis, Brandon ClementsMoody Publishers / 2017 / Trade Paperback$9.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 13 Reviews
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Mary5 Stars Out Of 5You CAN change the worldFebruary 7, 2017MaryQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Willis and Clements hit a home run with this book. I was convicted of using my home as my sanctuary rather than a place of ministry, but after visiting with the Holy Spirit on it, and reading THE SIMPLEST WAY TO CHANGE THE WORLD, I now see it as our mission station. Jesus changes hearts one heart at a time, and we can change our world one hospitable outreach at a time. Read this book to see how easily that can be done.
rbmarxGlendive, MTAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Biblical hospitality both forms & transforms the ChurchFebruary 7, 2017rbmarxGlendive, MTAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Simplest Way to Change the World by Dustin Willis & Brandon Clements
Moody Publishers: Chicago, 2017
This is an easy reading, enjoyable exposition on pushing ourselves into the task of changing the world one covered dish supper at a time. This book appeals to every Christian and everyone with a taste for hospitality.
Section 1, 'The Potential,' begins with an understanding that every Christian wants to change the world, wants to be a conduit the Spirit uses to draw people to Christ who saves all who come to Him in meekness, but we just know our efforts must be the big multi-city youth convention, the television delivered appeal to know Christ, and the events that take time and money to pull off. Not so. We come to Christ as we are and we should, we need, to display Gods saving nature in our everyday lives. We must appeal to people for Christ in the everyday nuances of life and that takes knowing them in relationship over shared meals. Willis & Clements demolish personal arguments and compel people to open their lives to their neighbors from an appeal to Scriptures and from the ease of the technique: it takes a shared meal with purposeful listening not to sell anything but to display Christ.
Section 2, 'The Plan,' puts our excuses to bed and offers cogent applications of hospitality in action. This involves listening. People share their lives as they know that someone cares for them personally and so the process of getting to know our neighbors means listening. The core bedrock is that God came down to humanitys level in Jesus and so His followers ought to go to people where they live.
This book lends itself well to group study and the world awaits the smooth transition of placing it, or its precepts, into action. The Apostles shook Jerusalem with the vigor of their message.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Simplest Way to Change the World from Moody Publishers as part of a launch team. These opinions are my own.
PR1925 Stars Out Of 5Hospitality Changes the WorldFebruary 6, 2017PR192Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Simplest Way to Change the World - Biblical Hospitality As a Way of Life
The premise of the book is that living an impactful life doesnt have to mean doing something big for God. In fact, Willis and Clements claim that its the exact opposite. In The Simplest Way to Change the World they assert that living intentionally in the everydayness of life is the best way to live a life that impacts others. It is as simple as inviting your neighbor over for dinner, your co-worker over for a cookout, or the single twenty-something from your church over to watch a TV show with your family. It is all about hospitality, inviting others into your life that you might share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The book itself is short and easy to read. The authors begin by laying out what they mean by hospitality and giving readers a vision for it. According to Willis and Clements, "Biblical hospitality chooses to engage rather than unplug, open rather than close, initiate rather than sit idly by (p. 26). In other words, hospitality is the act of inviting others into your life with the purpose of knowing them, loving them, and sharing Christ with them.
They then root the concept of hospitality in Gods nature. God is a God of hospitality. According to the authors, the entire Bible is a story about Gods hospitality (p. 37). It started in the Garden of Eden with God creating a place for Adam and Eve to live and ends in Revelation when God creates a new city for His people to live. And He has been hospitable to us by adopting us into His family. Now, since we as Christians have received hospitality from God, we are to extend hospitality to others. Citing examples from both the Old Testament and New Testament, the authors show how God has always cared about those who are not already part of His people. His design has always been that the people of God should welcome outsiders.
After this, Willis and Clements show the need for and purpose of hospitality in our world today. "One, in our increasingly frantic and disconnected society, people are longing for depth of relationship, which is exactly what hospitality provides. And two, in a culture that is growing away from a fondness and familiarity with Christianity, hospitality gives us a unique avenue to exhibit the gospel and provides a way forward for us in a changing culture (p. 55) Christians have an opportunity to meet people in their loneliness and show them the gospel by inviting them into their lives on a regular basis. This is an opportunity that should be leveraged by everyone.
The rest of the book is devoted to practical ways one can go about living hospitably. Willis and Clements are very thorough in showing how hospitality can be part of everyday life for everyone. They address issues of personality, race, gender, and marital status. They deal with excuses that their readers might be making. They give practical advice on how to meet your neighbors and incorporate hospitality into everyday life. They share examples of how to actually talk about Jesus and share the gospel. The last half of the book is full of this practical advice that helps their readers put hospitality into action and it is a gold mine.
As a whole I really enjoyed the book. The way they went about teaching about hospitality is different than I have ever experienced in the past. I have never seen how hospitality is rooted in the nature of God. That was new for me and probably their strongest argument. We should be hospitable because God has been hospitable to us. And when we show hospitality, we are putting God on display for the world to see. If that doesnt compel someone to see the importance of showing hospitality and spur them to action, Im not sure anything will.
I also really appreciate the way they encourage people to live as a missionary in everyday life. Its easy for people to think that they cant play an important role in Gods work because their lives are so busy and mundane. Willis and Clements wipe that excuse right off the table and leave us with theological truths that should change the way we live our daily lives. In essence they are encouraging us to live intentional lives, thinking through how we can invite others, both believers and unbelievers, into the rhythms that we already exist in our day to day lives.
And they dont leave their readers to figure out how to do that on their own. There is no scenario that I could think of that they didnt touch on. They dealt with just about every issue imaginable when it comes to what hospitality looks like and how to go about living a hospitable life. They gave no room for someone to wiggle out of their responsibility as a Christian to be involved in the work of God by living hospitably in their day to day lives.
This is a book that I would recommend to all Christians. It gives theological groundings and practical ideas for being involved in the mission of God right where you are. Please read this and then put the ideas found in this book into action.
*I received an advance review copy courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review