Jesus sets apart, prepares, and commissions His Church to be ambassadors for the message of the Cross, to continue His ministry of reconciliation to the lost; and He both modeled and taught a strategic formula that would facilitate that great endeavor. From the beginning of His redemptive plan, God has consistently focused on a specific group, the Oikos (as the Greeks called it), as His primary target for evangelism. That is, He primarily perpetuates His Kingdom through those close social connections that we all have, those eight to fifteen people He strategically placed around each one of us in our own relational worlds. Throughout the New Testament, whenever God’s Spirit changed a life, a worldchanger was born. Whether it was a demon possessed man, a swindler named Zacchaeus, a royal official with a dying son, a tax collector named Matthew, a Centurion named Cornelius, a businesswoman named Lydia or a recently unemployed Philippian jailor, they all were sent back home to their oikos. While different cultures and generations reflect unique qualities, the oikos phenomenon remains a constant, a core characteristic of humanity’s hardwiring.
That's where you come in. The strategy for changing the world through Oikos relationships hasn’t changed. And frankly, that is great news! It is really easy for us to shut down because the call to change the world is too overwhelming. I can’t shift the trajectory of the world. Can you? But that is why the 8 to 15 people that God has supernaturally and strategically placed in your sphere of influence is so exciting. Now, there will be times when even the relationships God has placed in your life seem overwhelming. Or maybe you are just run down and tired. That’s where we come in.
We get it. And we are here to help. We believe that the local church is a critical element to your success in reaching your world. Now, there is a balance. We don’t want you to spend all your time at church. Remember those 8 to 15 we mentioned? Here are the things we think are helpful for you when it comes to keeping you fresh, encouraged, and growing in your relationship with God, which then makes reaching your 8 to 15 a whole lot more doable.
Step 1: LIST - Recognize how God is already managing circumstances to connect us with certain people on a regular basis, then write their names down.
Step 2: PRAY - Every day, pray that God would make Himself known to each person on your list. Ask God how you can be available to them as an instrument of truth and grace.
Step 3: INVEST - Look for ways to spend time with your Oikos. Being available and present allows you to be used by God in your relationships.
Step 4: INVITE - Invite the people on your list to experience environments in which the body of Christ is engaged in faith-filled conversations. This could be a church service, a social event, or even a private get-together. Keep your eyes open for the opportunities God presents.
Step 5: PREPARE - Don’t forget that your own personal growth makes you more available to God to fulfill your personal mission. The better we know who God is, the better we can effectively represent Him in our daily lives.