“That’s interesting. I haven’t met Sam’s parents. What are their names?”
“Her name is Barbara. I’m not sure his name. I’ve only seen him in the car when they picked up Sam after Ethan’s birthday party. But I can find out his name.”
“Well, what’s the point of all this? We really don’t even know them.”
“That is the point. Remember how Marty was telling us about intentionally connecting with new people and helping them draw closer to God? That is what a missional party is all about. We’ll just invite them over to have some fun, let them get to know us, Mark and Joan, and then let God be in charge of whatever comes next. What’s the worst that can happen?”
“They could turn out to be relentless network marketers and we’ll never get away from their appeals to join their network.” He managed a smile.
“Oh come on, don’t be so pessimistic. We love Mark and Joan, and who knows? Barbara and whatever his name is might turn out to be just as much fun as they are. Plus – we’ll be taking one more step in our own discipleship. We’ll be kind of putting ourselves out there for Christ. It’s not like we’d be heading off to India.”
“You’re right. [Her favorite words] I prefer to watch the game with friends anyway. It sounds like fun.”
Whatever-his-name-is turned out to be Bill and he actually went to the University of Georgia just like Mark. They hit it off right away. The food was hamburgers on the grill; Sam and Ethan hung out in the back room with a movie and a babysitter; they did say a prayer of thanksgiving over the burgers, but other than that it was just game night at a friend’s house.
Missional living requires this one thing: that we pay attention to the tug of God on our hearts and take that one step forward to the next thing God has intended for us. We trust God for the results.
Lives have been forever changed by a Jesus follower inviting a stranger over for a meal and trusting God for whatever came next.
Acts 16: 11-15 (The Message)
Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.
On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!
After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.” We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.