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The Ministry of Christian Invitation

"The central task of ministry is the formation of a community
with an alternative liberated imagination
that has the courage and freedom to act
in a different vision and different perception of reality."

- Walter Bruggeman


Our objective in the Ministry of Christian Invitation is to assist Christ-followers at Richmond’s First Baptist Church
in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond by practicing radical hospitality to the people Jesus loves.
 

Welcome to the Ministry of Christian Invitation! This Ministry has everything to do with how we practice ‘Christian’ hospitality----it is the way we demonstrate love to others in our homes, neighborhoods, churches, workplaces, schools, cities, and in our world. ‘Christian hospitality’ has to do with loving the people Jesus’ loves’---especially those who are strangers. It is a ‘radical’ way of living and loving. This way of love is best exemplified by practicing ‘radical hospitality’.

Writer Lonni Collins Pratt describes it this way: “The phrase radical hospitality refers to the activities and desires that inspire individuals and communities to welcome those who are unlike themselves. Rather than viewing any person in terms of how they benefit us, radical hospitality means accepting the person with no thought of personal benefit. ...To become hospitable means finding ways to welcome the marginalized, forgotten, and misunderstood among us.” Obviously, practicing this kind of hospitality is not for lazy people!

Marjorie Thompson, popular author in the area of spiritual formation says, “The remarkable explosion of Christianity in the first century was due not only to the proclamation of the gospel, but to the extraordinary quality of Christian hospitality.” At Richmond’s First Baptist Church we are trying to practice Christian hospitality. We are seeking to love the people Jesus loves. We desire to do what Benedict of Nursia told his Christian brothers and sisters back in the sixth century: “See Christ in others. Be Christ to others.” If we could ‘see Christ in others (the good in them)’, and, secondly, if we could practice “being Christ to others”, then maybe we could help God bring a little bit of the kingdom of Heaven to our homes, neighborhoods, and to our own city of Richmond, Virginia.

The Ministry of Christian Invitation is practicing Christian hospitality in some of the following areas of ministry:International Students in Richmond

• Welcoming the Newcomer (guests and visitors) who attend our worship services, activities, and special gatherings at Richmond’s First Baptist Church (Hospitality Team).

• Welcoming those to our community who are experiencing brokenness and the challenge of separation and divorce (Divorce Recovery Ministry).

• Welcoming are our new American friends (refugees from other countries---New American Ministry).

• Welcoming international students who come here to live and study at our universities (International Student Ministry).

Newcomer’s Gatherings

Join other newcomers attending Richmond’s First Baptist Church as we journey toward spiritual and emotional maturity in Christ. This is a great way to get connected with other newcomers and discover the heart of what it means to be in Christian community.  Contact Ralph Starling for more info...

Visit Ralph Starling's blog...

 
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