“When one person at a time is noticed, valued, loved, pursued, and ultimately rescued, that’s what leads heaven to throw a party — and it often happens because we threw a party.”- Kyle Idleman
“There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”- Luke 15:10 (NIV)
Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 7 of One At a Time with a discussion of two types of parties to throw.
1. Oikos Parties. Oikos, Kyle quips, isn’t the Greek word for yogurt. Rather, it’s the Greek word for home or household. Furthermore, oikos is sometimes used for people who are close to you. Hence, an oikos party relationally engages people who are spiritually unengaged.
However, Pastor Idleman cautions, it’s not necessary that evangelism happens at the party. So, don’t use a bait-and-switch technique. Then everyone leaves a little bitter. Instead, your goal involves building bridges that facilitate opportunities to talk about Jesus at a later time.
2. Xenos Parties. Xenos is the Greek word for stranger or foreigner. For example, in Hebrews 13:2 we read, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.”
Here the original Greek verse uses a compound word, philoxenias, which translates into English as ‘show hospitality to strangers.’ Or, more literally, ‘love strangers.’
Thus, Kyle notes, the thinking that drives a xenos party is that Jesus engages those whom other people avoided (emphasis Kyle’s). In other words, at a xenos party you connect with people who are unconnected. Therefore, create or find surprising ways to serve those who might otherwise be shunned.
In conclusion, endless possibilities exist. Base your uniquely designed party on the unique way that God designed you. Kyle adds:
“In Luke 15 Jesus tells us to pursue people who have pulled away from God, and that when one comes back to him, a great party breaks out in heaven.”
Today’s question: How can you implement what leads heaven to throw a party? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “God hardwired the power of words”