Reaching Your Oikos - Part One
Jesus commissioned us to reach the lost, and He both modeled and taught a strategic formula that would facilitate that great endeavor.
Throughout the New Testament, when God's Spirit changed a life, a world-changer was born. Whether it was a demon-possessed man, a swindler named Zacchaeus, a royal official with a dying son, a tax collector named Matthew, a Centurion named Cornelius, a businesswoman named Lydia, or a recently unemployed Philippian jailor, they all were sent back home to their oikos.
Oikos, the Greek word for "extended family," encompasses our relational worlds. It will include anywhere from eight to fifteen people whom God has supernaturally and strategically placed in our spheres of influence. Those relationships not only frame our primary evangelistic targets, but in reality they must frame our primary ministry strategies for the church.
Our mission is simple--not easy, but simple. Christians who believe that it's their job to witness to everybody usually don't witness to anybody! But when believers, representing any generation or culture, come to understand their specific evangelistic assignment, oikos becomes the great equalizer in any church…the simplest, yet most important common denominator in any ministry.
It doesn't matter how you're good-looking or unattractive, tall or short you might be. You may have money or you may be broke. None of this matters when it comes to being used by God to evangelize and disciple your `oikos’. Your ethnicity, theological background, language, and age don't matter either.
We all have people whom God has supernaturally and strategically placed in our extended families, our relational worlds. We are all Christ's partners in world-change.
The Oikos is not an evangelism program. It is essentially a worldview, a paradigm through which a Christ-follower evaluates life, its purpose and events. Not only is the oikos formula not new to the Church, it's not new to yours. The overwhelming majority of the people in any local church came to Christ through an oikos relationship.
Ask yourself: "What was the primary vehicle that God used to draw me to Himself, was it someone in your oikos?"
The profound conclusion to draw from this simple exercise is that the oikos paradigm is already alive and well in every ministry. Embracing the oikos phenomenon is not about introducing a new idea to any local church; it's about accelerating it through intentionality.
The Church's purpose was settled before its birth; our job is to simply execute it.
Christ's Church is the only one He promised to build. His is the only one that will overcome the gates of Hades. His is the only one worth serving.
We can never afford to think so highly of ourselves that we believe the Church is ours, or we run the risk of fulfilling the Great No-mission.
The parameters of our mission objectives were clearly articulated by our Commander-in Chief: We are here "to seek and to save those who are lost." By definition, all Christ-followers have one thing in common; they actually follow Him!