We’ve been talking about hospitality a lot on the blog recently, because I find it absolutely essential to effective welcoming. It’s also essential to any effort to share the good news about Jesus in an authentic and winsome way.
There are some books on hospitality (I’ve reviewed several of them here) and many books on Christian mission, but I’ve never found one that’s clearly about both at once. Enter Edward Smither’s brand new book Mission as Hospitality: Imitating the Hospitable God in Mission!
In light of the fact that “Christian mission is a hospitable endeavor because God is hospitable” (p. 4),, Smither sets out to explore “the crossroads of hospitality and mission and the hospitable nature of Christian mission” (p. 6) so as to emphasize the importance and encourage the practice of hospitality in missionary efforts today.
This is a slim volume that is packed with concisely written biblical and historical information and studded with inspiring examples from history and the current global church crossing barriers in order to welcome others into our temporary earthly homes and into the pilgrimage to our true Home, the “lasting city…which is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). A must read for students of Christian mission and those who want to practice hospitality in their own lives.
For a more thorough analysis of Mission as Hospitality, check out my review in the Journal of the Evangelical Missiological Society.