Mark 5:19 NIV

“Go to your home [oikos], to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 

When Jesus worked a miracle on someone’s behalf, like the demon possessed man in Mark 5, it was his custom to give them a simple assignment–to return home with good news. Jesus wasn’t referring to a home as a structure but as a network of relationships. You have heard me refer to this as our Oikos. Oikos is the Greek word New Testament writers used to represent those key relationships we all find at the center of our daily lives. Like everyone else, your oikos is made up of your friends and family, neighbors, coworkers and those you meet in your day to day activities. The Oikos principle is the primary way we reach out to our community with God’s love and Jesus’ expectation is that you reach your Oikos by telling them what God has done for you! 

One of the most important aspects of embracing the Oikos principle is committing ourselves to expanding our circle of friends. For some of us, that comes naturally. For me, it’s not that easy. My wife and son are extroverts and make new friends everywhere they go. It takes me a little longer. As we learned earlier this week, it really takes me being pushed out of my comfort zone.

One of my goals this past year was to get more involved in my community, meet new people and build new relationships. You may think “that’s not hard, you’re a pastor,” but actually; it is very difficult for me. I am naturally a very introverted person and the nerve-racking process of being in new situations and meeting new people is very taxing mentally and physically. Towards the end of the year, I took the plunge and joined a peer group that meets in Nashville monthly. It was awkward for me at first; but now that I have been attending for almost a year, I have made several new friends and have grown spiritually through this experience.

This year I’m looking for ways to meet even more new people. I am actually very excited about expanding my community of influence even further. To help accomplish this, I have joined a local gym. As I begin my new gym routine, I have committed to ask the Lord to put people in my path and give me the boldness to make new connections that will ultimately help me point people to Him.

What does our Oikos have to do with the Red Letter Challenge? Well Jesus made a point to welcome strangers into his circle and I believe He wants us to do the same!

Luke 9:11 ESV

When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.

How can you expand your Oikos? Well, start my taking inventory of your interests. What do you enjoy doing? Consider inviting some of your friends from church and some of your unchurched friends to join you in an activity you really enjoy. As everyone gets to know each other, you would be surprised how God will open the doors for new friendships to be formed and His story shared. I want to encourage you to join me in this challenge of getting more involved and meeting new people. You never know who you will meet and how God will use you to impact their lives forever!


Get out and meet someone new! Join a group in your community or neighborhood doing something you enjoy. Get in a new social circle! Meet new people. If this is too much for you to do on your own, ask a friend to join you.

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