Hospitality, Fellowship, and Evangelism

This week, I have been thinking about (and blogging about) ‘hospitality evangelism.’ A good friend and former seminary classmate, Matthew Wireman, pushed back via Twitter—that vast forum for nuanced perspectives—and said why not just call “hospitality evangelism,’ ‘hospitality.’ Rightly, he insisted that all hospitality should include gospel conversation and that we should not see hospitality as the new door-to-door program, where we invite people in only to give them a fiery invitation to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus. We should in essence always be hospitable, without any other motive.

Or at least, that is what I took him to mean from his 140 characters.

So, should we drop the label ‘hospitality evangelism’ and just go with ‘hospitality,’ trusting that people will catch the drift and will focus on bringing Christ into the conversation? Or should we teach our people to combine hospitality and evangelism, whether or not they use the label ‘hospitality evangelism’?

Here are a few reflections on that question and the need for evangelicals to remember what hospitality and fellowship really are. Continue reading