There have been in the last few years a new idea that is actually an old idea, that deals with how we are to reach out to the world with the love of God and how that action can bring on a reaction that could grow our churches. This concept is often known as Oikos. Oikos is a Greek word that is often translated as “household”. Our video game society today would define household as the immediate family that lives within the four walls of our homes. But back in the day it was used to define the realm of your life. Your work, worship, leisure and family time were all part of your Oikos
So today it would be the mom’s you share the car pool with, the guy In the cubicle next to you, the girl who checks you in at the gym, the neighbor who’s dog loves your yard more than their own, the people in the pew behind you, the kid you give five bucks allowance to each week… Get the idea? These are the people you could most easily affect by your witness. These are the people Christ wants you to minister to.
Michael Green, in his book, Evangelism in the Early Church points out that,” The early Christians knew when the message of faith was heard and demonstrated by friends and family who were known, then trusted barriers to the gospel were removed and receptivity to the message increased tremendously.”
Dr. Bob Orr on his blog (http://drboborr.blogspot.com/) shares two reasons why these people will be influenced by us more than any other. The two reasons are integrity and life transformation. Who sees if you walk the talk and how you handle your slips? The people of your Oikos! They know you, your actions, your words and where you are in the Lord.
Dr. Bob goes on to share these statistics on what brings people into the church:
- · Special Need (Death, Illness, etc) 3%
- · Walk In 3%
- · Work of the church staff 3%
- · Visitation (Knocking on doors, etc) 1%
- · Small Groups 6%
- · Revivals 1%
- · Other Programs 4%
- · Oikos 79%
Wow! Right? We can and do reach the lost by a number of different ways, but the most successful is reaching out to and evangelizing those in your own world!
So how do you do it? Start by making a list of people. List three individuals that you are related to, three that you work with, three that you live by or do business with, three you worship with and three that you ‘hang’ with.
Second, get to know them better than you do now. Take an interest in their lives, ask questions, show concern (all without being stalker like).
Third, pray for them, their needs, and their praises. Thank God for placing them in your life. Ask His guidance in ministering to them.
Forth, seek the Holy Spirits guidance in who needs your attention the most, who is ready to hear the Word, whose heart is best prepared for the Gospel.
Fifth, as you continue to seek God’s will begin to minister to them. Show God’s love in your actions and words. Invite them to special events, to worship service and to fellowship gatherings. Let them see the great work that God has done in your life in greater detail.
Lastly, repeat the process.
Want more information?
- Dr. Bob’s blog http://drboborr.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-church-really-grows-oikos-phenomina.html
- The Master’s Plan for Making Disciples by Win and Charles Arn
- Oikos Your World Delivered by Pastor Tom Mercer
Thanks to Dr. Bob Orr for the info!
Copyright Roy Richard