Let’s dive in and look at the biblical view of hospitality. People have written tomes on this, so you can go read those if you want better answers. But hospitality has always been key to the life of God’s people.
Those in Christ are adopted into the family God. Let that sink in.
You are a son, not a slave. You stand not in slavery, but in life as a son or daughter of God, with Jesus as your brother–now and always. This past Sunday excited me because I got to share about one of my favorite topics–belonging to the family of God. And I was extra excited because of the kindness of one Randall Goodgame (we often sing his music during our family worship) who let Evan, team, and a few children (whom I pretended were adopted by their parents when I began preaching) sing his song “I’m Adopted” during the service. (Read Randall explain the song here, and buy all his music here [or on iTunes, but I’m not linking you there]).
After the service Evan told me I couldn’t make any more song requests on Sunday morning. I’m not sure if I will oblige him, though, because he goes above and beyond to involve people in our church family and do the boring things like get permission to play songs such as Randall’s. . .
I know that everyone has been waiting on pins and needles for this. Seriously. Ever since my earth-shattering post yesterday that garnered a record-breaking 30 views (shattering the record from August 21st of last year by 30 views), I know that people are dying to know how I try to navigate my current season of life. But first, here’s a video that I love that has nothing to do with what I’m about to talk about:
Four years ago today I got out of bed at Courtney’s cousin’s guest house in Dallas. It was early, and mornings and I are not always on the greatest terms. I had a trek ahead of me. The first stop: drive close to the DTS campus and pick up my friend, Jeff. There was no issue at all figuring out which vehicle was mine. I rolled up in the 17-foot U-Haul, loaded up the night before by some great friends (and, if I remember correctly, we ate pizza that night as well). Our six hundred(ish) square-foot apartment had been emptied, our U-Haul packed, and our sights set on Baton Rouge, Louisiana–where I had just accepted a job doing Lord knows what.
Toby and I doing what we do best: not moving boxes and looking tough. (PS-Toby and his wife had twins about a week ago.)
A lot has changed in those four years. We’ve added two children (with a third coming August 12th) and endured the first one staying in the hospital his first month. We’ve done big kid things like plan for our future and the inevitable end of being gainfully employed, buy a house, get life insurance (well, I [Hans] have), pay bills, and gain weight (though Courtney has an excuse, I don’t). We’ve developed an entirely new network of relationships out of the church. And I (Hans) have had I’m not sure how many job changes (when you don’t have a job description, you aren’t really sure what is and isn’t your job). But I’ve been in my role as teaching pastor of The Oaks for over a year now.
I have many thoughts on the past four years, but, for your sake, I’ll limit them to four. . .
I believe very strongly in decision paralysis. People cling to the idea that the more options you have the more freedom you have. There’s just one issue: many people become less decisive with more options. Pretend you had never eaten cereal a day in your life and I take you to the grocery store. Which one do you choose? (If your answer is anything but Lucky Charms or Cinnamon Toast Crunch, you are wrong). Churches fall prey to this. They offer fourteen baker’s dozens of programming and simply ask you to “get involved” in some of them. And then, before you know it, you are a community group leader, a greeter, on a steering committee for the worship ministry, and a table host at the new member’s class. Then the prospective member asks this (horrifying) question:
How do you see me involved in this church body?
It’s a threat level midnight kind of question. . .
You can see them coming miles away–those words and phrases that, when used, paint you into the metaphorical Christian corner. You promised yourself that you would take a different route the moment you even thought those words and phrases were coming, but they still found you. How did they find you? Do they have your address? Maybe you were using Apple Maps and it actually re-routed you right into their warpath.
For me, “I’ve prayed about it” is one of those phrases.