Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Practice hospitality"

"Practice hospitality." Romans 12:13. Imagine you are going to a house church for the first time. It can be awkward (especially if you are a little introverted to begin with). What do you talk about? You wonder how this kind of church works. What are the "rules"? And, all of these other people already know each other. It's easy to feel like an outsider.

By starting the meeting by "checking in" with SASHET, everyone (visitors and regulars) are placed on the same footing. The "rules" are very simple. After one or two people share, you can quickly see how it's done. And, you can share at any level of vulnerability you are comfortable with so, you feel safe. SASHET moves the whole group beyond the level of "small talk". It provides an easy starting place for lots other follow-up conversations. In the course of one meeting, you are part of the community. No longer an "outsider".

"Hospitality is a fundamental function of the Jewish home. This practice is also central in the Hebraic heritage of the Church. Schooled in a rich rabbinic background, Paul inculcates this teaching in his readers... The term used in rabbinic literature for hospitality is hakhnasat orhim, literally "bringing in of guests" or "gathering in of travelers."... The rabbis considered hospitality one of the most important functions of the home... Guests were to be received graciously and cheerfully." Wilson, Our Father Abraham, p. 219-220.

Hospitality means opening our homes to guests. Perhaps even more important is the opening of our hearts to guests. SASHET gives us a pathway to do just that.

Tim Morris, a house church leader in Denver, share about the value of SASHET for himself and his house church.


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