Cafe church: Meeting round tables with refreshments and discussion changes the dynamic from exclusive to inclusive.
Luke 9:2 (ESV)
…And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
Jesus gave us a model for going out and reaching others. Find the ones who are open to the message of the kingdom. Stay with them, get to know them, and show them the power of God’s love.
The openings of Luke chapters 9 and 10, (Luke 9:1-6 and Luke 10:1-12, 17-20) give us the account of, first the Twelve and then on the second occasion, each of the Twelve with about five more, going out to reach others.
- These disciples were given quite a direct, specific brief – to announce the kingdom, and also to demonstrate the kingdom. What Jesus had defined as His mission following His baptism in the Jordan and the desert testing experience, now became the mission of His disciples acting on their own. They were told to:
- Travel light (Luke 9:3 and 10:4);
- Present themselves, not as strong and self-secure, but as being defenceless, not carrying a staff and “like lambs among wolves” (Luke 9:3, 10:3);
- Expect rejection. Some people would receive them, some not. Rejection is normal and does not invalidate the mission (Luke 9:5, Luke 10:6 and 10);
- Bless each home they visited (Luke 10:5-6); and
- Stay where they were welcomed and build a relationship with the people of that home, sharing meals with them (Luke 9:4, 10:7-8).
How do we take this model and relate it to our world and our 21st century first-world culture? Inviting yourself to stay and share meals in a home isn’t quite the British way. On the other hand, we all know how the companionship of a meal is a powerful dynamic. Everyone in business knows this. Remove the shared meal element of Alpha and it becomes juat a teaching session – a denatured version of the real thing.
THINK IT OUT
- Thinking about Jesus sending out the disciples (Luke 9 and 10), what might a similar mission look like in our world?
- Jesus spelt out certain needs which the disciples were to have faith to ask God to meet. What needs might He spell out to us?
- Some people will not welcome a visit or other contact from Christians. How do we reconcile our desire to avoid rejection with the call to mission?
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