God-Prepared Bridges in Every Culture
Oikos Evangelism: A relational, trans-cultural way of reaching people. An oikos is one’s circle of influence composed of family, friends, community and co-workers. Taken from the Greek term oikos which means “household”. See the example of Cornelius ...
- Acts 10:2 – Makes it clear that Cornelius was a spiritual influence on his household.
- Acts 10:24 – Oikos included those he was responsible for: family and close friends.
- Acts 10:27 – It was a large number of people.
- Acts 11:14 – Makes it clear that this group of people was his household or oikos.
Oikos evangelism is God’s natural bridge for sharing His supernatural message. It focuses on relationships as the means of sharing the good news. In the basic model, non-believers see lives transformed which in turn backs up their testimony, and thus may be used to convince others to follow Christ.
People of Peace or Oikos Evangelism focuses on letting the good news spread through whatever form of relationships or networks exist within the culture and among the people. Luke 10.1-20 provides marching orders for intentionally engaging people groups.
- What are some key principles Jesus gave for going into a new culture?
- What equipment was needed?
- What price was to be paid?
- What was the chief way of introducing the gospel into that community?
- What was to happen if no person of peace was found or the gospel was rejected?
So, what is a person of peace? Or, how do we discover and recognize a person of peace? People of peace are ...
- ... an entry point into a new culture / area.
- ... willing to welcome gospel bearers.
- ... connected with an extended network of relationships.
- ... open to receiving the gospel.
- ... people who have a sense of responsibility to share with their existing connection of relationships.
Often the person of peace is the first step in a household believing and becoming a very natural new church.
Possible Biblical Examples of People of Peace
- Zaccheus – Luke 19
- Levi/Matthew – Luke 5
- Samaritan woman at the well – John 4
- Lazarus, Mary and Martha – John 11-12
- Ethiopian eunuch – Acts 8
- Cornelius – Acts 10
- Lydia – Acts 16
- Philippian jailer – Acts 16
- Jason – Acts 17
- Priscilla and Aquila – Acts 18, Rom 16:3-5
- Titius Justus and Crispus – Acts 18