Schaeffer on Community and Hospitality

I must confess that it is a great irritant to my person when the church does not fulfill her mission, her calling. We, as the bride of Christ are called to be the salt in the world, the city on a hill, the light amongst darkness. But there aren't many denominations merely proclaim a Jesus that mimics culture, not transformation or counter-cultural. It is a sad fact that many reformed congregations do not apply irresistible grace to our everyday living, we are not hospitable or transforming culture.

One of my favorite writers (who i need to read a lot more) Francis Schaeffer deals rather harshly with this, and offers excellent counsel to me as I deal with this.

Don't start with a big program. Don't suddenly think you can add to your church budget and begin. Start personally and start in your home. I dare you. I dare you in the name of Jesus Christ. Do what I am going to suggest. Begin by opening your home for community…

How many times in the past year have you risked having a drunk vomit on your carpeted floor? How in the world, then, can you talk about compassion and about community - about the church's job in the inner city?

L'Abri is costly. If you think what God has done here is easy, you don't understand. It's a costly business to have a sense of community. L'Abri cannot be explained merely by the clear doctrine that is preached; it cannot be explained by the fact that God has here been giving intellectual answers to intellectual questions. I think those two things are important, but L'Abri cannot be explained if you remove the third. And that is there has been some community here. And it has been costly.

In about the first three years of L'Abri all our wedding presents were wiped out. Our sheets were torn. Holes were burned in our rugs. Indeed once a whole curtain almost burned up from somebody smoking in our living room. Blacks came to our table. Orientals came to our table. Everybody came to our table. It couldn't happen any other way. Drugs came to our place. People vomited in our rooms, in the rooms of Chalet Les Melezes which was our home, and now in the rest of the chalets of L'Abri.

How many times has this happened to you? You see, you don't need a big program. You don't have to convince your session or board. All you have to do is open your home and begin. And there is no place in God's world where there are no people who will come and share a home as long as it is a real home." [quote from here]

All you have to do is open your home and begin. Schaeffer takes Christ's counsel of our plank before other's speck literally here. We need to focus on ourselves, not others.