The heart behind this ministry is the desire to love people and help connect them to the body of Christ.
"Love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God." (1 John 4:7)
Since God loves us, Jesus commands us to also love one another. Jesus' invitation to us is simply, "You are welcome as you are." That is really good news! The New Testament is overflowing with amazing stories of Jesus' Radical Hospitality. Love welcomes and seeks to include. Love is something to be experienced. It is an action. You do it! He invites us to join Him in loving the world and practicing "kingdom hospitality."
This is what we are seeking to do through the ministries of Christian Invitation...
- First Impressions (greeters, ushers)
- Reception Teams
- Visitor Follow-Up
- The School of Radical Hospitality
- Boy Scouts Team
- International Ministry
- Divorce Recovery
- AA Group
The School of Radical Hospitality
This class is offered annually (six-week series) and is designed to help participants practice Radical Hospitality to our world. People who practice this are open to loving others without judging or looking down on them. They look past invisible differences (beliefs, attitudes, values, lifestyles) and visible differences (clothing, skin color, ages, gender, economic status). Radical Hospitality really does welcome people just as they are. During these sessions we will explore the Jesus' way of love and hospitality, the early church and the Benedictine model of radical hospitality, and the practice of fearless conversation, genuine humility, and divine anticipation.
Upcoming Class: Mondays, October 5 - November 16, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the home of Ralph Starling.
Session One: Monday, October 5
Topics: Introduction, To Make a Beginning
Session Two: Monday, October 12
Topics: The Taming of Hospitality, Hospitality Begins Inside
Session Three: Monday, October 19
Topics: Welcoming the Other; Cloister, Community & Hospitality
Session Four: Monday, October 26
Topics: Preparing a Table, Companionship & Intimacy, The Making of a Heart – It's Not Easy to Love
Session Five: Monday, November 2
Topics: Making Room for Yourself, Being a Companion Through Hurt
Session Six: Monday, November 9
Topics: Calling a Truce, Listening – The Deep Truth of Hospitality
The class will use the book Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love. The cost is $12.
First Baptist wants newcomers to know:
- You are welcome just as you are.
- Your ideas and thoughts are welcome; your struggles and doubts are welcome.
- God is here, ready to connect with you in a fresh way.
- Our greeters and ushers are here and desire that you experience love and hospitality of this Christian community.
"Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." (Romans 12:13)
Divorce Recovery Ministry
This ministry seeks to create a healing environment to those who are experiencing brokenness from a separation or divorce. The end of a relationship can be a lonely and devastating experience. Workshops, seminars, and support groups are offered throughout the year and designed to help walk participants through transition and discover a future with hope.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
This ministry seeks to love those persons who have relocated to Richmond from other countries because of work, or as students studying at our universities, or as refugees/New Americans. The ministry of Christian Invitation seeks to show the love of Christ by welcoming those who are strangers in a new land.
"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it." (Hebrews 13:2)
For more information contact Ralph Starling, Associate Pastor.