Having lived in several different communities during our married life, I have never felt lonely around my neighbors. We have dwelt in the homogeneous suburbs. We have lived in the convulsive inner city with its great ethnic variety. Everyone, by the way, warned the inner city would be cold. But, I found the inner city delightfully neighborly. And now, we abide in a town on the verge of racial change.
In every place we have extended invitations to landlords and shopkeepers, barbers and janitors, women, men, and children. I’ve had luncheons and teas and coffee breaks, birthday parties and pancake breakfasts, and just plain old chatting over the fences. I am not lonely, because I refuse to be alone. And, I have never met anyone who was offended because I opened my door and invited her or him to come in.
The home of the Christian is a tool for ministry. Ask the Lord how He wants you to use it. He may speak to your ear that He wants you to start a Bible study. One woman I know of heard just this very thing. “All right,” she replied. “I’ll go up and down the block knocking on each door, but You are responsible for the results. If no one comes, that’s not my concern, but Yours.” Many did come, and that one Bible study has had tremendous results.
The Lord may ask each of us to use our homes in a different way. Once we are obedient, having bathed the rooms in prayer, we can sit back and let the Lord do His own work. There will be no need for manipulation or contrivance.
I’ve had people come into our home with so much curiosity about the work of the church, and the particular beliefs we hold on the faith, that we have, for courtesy’s sake, had to declare, “Now we’ve talked about ourselves enough. You tell us about your life.” The results are His. We must be faithful with the use of the tools.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen Mains serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.