Rss

  • twitter

Oikos Connections

Oikos

   All of us need to identify our circles of influence, our “oikos.”  It is simply defined as our household; our extended family and friends.  Years ago, Elmer Towns talked about and even had an outreach program called “F.R.A.N.gelism.”  It was a challenge to focus sharing Christ with our friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors first.  These are the natural relationships already in our lives that God has placed there for us to share His love with.  Our circles of influence! 

     In The Multiplication Workshop, Dave DeVries defines “oikos” as “the fundamental unit of society involving families, friends, neighbors, and associates.”  The New Testament describes churches meeting in the ‘oikos,’ and it teaches that believers belong to the ‘household’ of God.  The spread of the gospel happens most effectively through close relationships.  Therefore it is vital to explore and expand our ‘oikos’ evangelism.”

     Dave designates 5 keys to working effectively in reaching your “oikos” with the gospel:

  • Time and Availability – relationships that are significant take time.
  • Hospitality – changed lives and kingdom values are best seen in everyday living.
  • Spiritual Intuition – listen carefully to others and the Holy Spirit.
  • Generosity – people are drawn to those who give freely and cheerfully.
  • A Transformed Life – new life in Christ is contagious.

     Central Church and church planter Anders Lee in Southaven, MS, have taken their “Oikos Connections” seriously.  They are not just talking about reaching their circles of influence; they are doing something about it.  They schedule events for their people to invite those who they know are unchurched or dechurched.  Recently they invited over 60 people to an evening of bowling and then a meal at Jason’s Deli.  They funded the evening for those invited based on one of their core values, “Our Dollars match our DNA.” 

    There were 34 “Oikos Connections” that showed up.  Several couples were asked to greet and have conversations with their guests using the “tap” method.  If one couple was talking to a guest and another couple came up, before they could leave they had to “tap” them on the back to let them know they were handing them off.  It worked, because 26 of the 34 came to worship the next Sunday and 4 families said they would definitely be back!  Of the 26 who attended on Sunday, six raised their hands to be contacted to discuss what it means to be born again.

     Anders attended The Multiplication Workshop and immediately began implementing the training into the outreach strategy of his church plant.  It is not just for church planters but will benefit anyone desiring to make disciples who make disciples.  The training is based upon the Multiplication Cycle developed by DeVries.  It has seven elements:

  • Seize the Mission of Jesus – Embracing the mission of Jesus as your own.
  • Adopt Missional Thinking and Behavior – Thinking and acting like a missionary in your zip code.
  • Exegete the Culture – Identifying your unique circle of accountability.
  • Incarnate the Gospel – Being Jesus to everyone everywhere around you.
  • Multiply Disciple Makers – Helping others to help others follow Jesus.
  • Form Communities/Churches – Gathering disciplemakers into Missional communities.
  • Mobilize Leaders and Teams – Empowering others to lead on mission.

Church_Cycle_with_Text

     If you have never gone through The Multiplication Workshop you should.  We will be hosting the next training in August (exact dates TBD) at the Global Ministries Center in Conway, AR.  You can contact me at larry@bmaam.com    Also, check out Dave’s website: www.missionalchallenge.com or email him at dave@missionalchallenge.com          

     Also check out “Circles of Influence” at http://larryjbarker.com/?p=441          

     Healthy churches are always focused on building strong relationships through “oikos” connections!