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Can Reverse Hospitality be Effective in Christian Mission Today?

Details  
Author Jeremy M Sorsbie
Date 01 May 2012
Level MA
Validating Body Cliff College
Topic(s) Evangelism, Mission
Written in UK
Abstract  

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Reverse Hospitality

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Christian hospitality is usually understood in the context of welcoming others into one’s own home or church. But spiritual transformation has been observed to occur as a result of taking hospitality to people in their own homes, and being welcomed by them as a guest. It has prompted this theological investigation into the concept of ‘reverse hospitality’ and whether it can be effective as a part of Christian Mission in twenty-first century Britain? Reflective practice using a practical theological model combines these experiences with contextual thinking.

The paper focuses on individual practice within the fields of hospitality, evangelism and incarnational missiology. Whether hospitality should be evangelistic or not, and understanding the host/guest roles in the process of incarnational hospitality are the core issues. A biblical perspective forms a theological basis for the concept of reverse hospitality, and ethical arguments as well as cultural implications are applied. The need to widen this field encompassing a more holistic practice, including comprehensive exploration of hospitality amongst other faiths, is recognised.

Conflict between motive and desire within the call to be hospitable and to evangelise is acknowledged, but ‘serving others’ is found to be at the heart of reverse hospitality.

 

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