I have seen it happen over and over again.

Pastors, church leaders, committed Jesus followers, and even evangelists see their home as a place of escape from the world. We live our faith “out there” and when we get home we can close the blinds and have a little “me time.”

What if God has placed you right where you are? What if your home is actually meant to be a mission station? What if one of the best places for evangelistic ministry is the apartment complex, the neighborhood, or the dorm where you sleep at night?

Six years ago my wife Sherry and I wrote a book about how you can turn your home into a gospel center. The title captures the message: Organic Outreach for Families…Turning Your Home into a Lighthouse. The work of evangelism is not a solo act. If you are part of a family, it is a collaboration. It begins with reaching our own family with the good news of Jesus and it overflows to our neighborhood.

Here are four images that might inspire you as you seek to reach your neighbors with the amazing, life-saving, eternity-changing gospel:

Make your home a safe haven. Our God is a mighty tower, a refuge, a stronghold in the storms of life. Homes saturated with the presence of Jesus will become a secure harbor in a world that is growing more and more fragmented and embattled. As relativism grows and post-modern thinking spreads through society, children, teens, and many adults are looking for something solid and secure on which to stand.

Christians who know what they believe, hold to the teaching of Scripture, and stand strong on their faith will become attractive…if we can extend grace and love while we hold to the truth. One of the best ways to create a home that is a safe haven for spiritual seekers is to invite them into a place with firm and grace-filled conviction.

Turn your home into an emergency room. Our world is broken. The people we meet each day are facing unprecedented challenges with addictions, shattered families, broken hearts, tattered relationships, and emotional fragility. On top of all this, they have no faith to show them the source of healing they so desperately need.

Our home can be a place of healing. Where do people run when things blow up, literally or figuratively? On September 11, 2001, when airplanes were turned into bombs and all of America (and much of the world) watched in stunned disbelief, our neighbors found their way to our home. Those who did not know Jesus needed hope and a vision for healing. They came because it felt the very ground under their feet and lives was no longer stable. They found healing for fears and hope for the future as we talked, hugged, cried, prayed, read Scripture, and walked through this tragedy together. Our homes must become emergency rooms where non-believers know they can find healing and hope.

Your home should be seen as a playground. How do you picture Jesus? Do you see Him with stern eyes and furrowed brow? I hope not. Jesus laughed. He loved. People, even those captured in the claws of sin, were drawn to Jesus.

Christian homes should be fun-central in every neighborhood. God owns the domain of joy! Do all you can to make your home a place of fun, play, and joy. Take time to organize games for neighborhood kids. Plan fun gatherings at your house for those who live near you. You should have a reputation as the place people love to go because they can have a great time.

Christian homes are prayer centers. Everyone in your neighborhood should know that if they need prayer, they can come to your home. As our sons were growing up, they had times they came home and saw a friend’s bike or car in front of our house. Sometimes these kids had dropped by, not to see our sons, but to pray with me or Sherry…even non-believing kids.

They knew we were not there to judge and condemn them. They were confident we believed in the power of prayer. Our faith was the only faith they knew, so they came.   Over the years, many of these young people became followers of Jesus as our family, including our three sons, prayed for and with them.

The best way to begin to make your home a prayer center is to go to each of your neighbors and simply tell them you are praying for them regularly (only do this if you mean it). Just ask if there are specific things you can pray for them. You will be amazed how deep people will go and how honest they will be.

It is not an accident that you live where you are. God has placed you there. Make your home a lighthouse.

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Kevin Harney
Kevin Harney is a local church pastor, an author, and an international speaker who seeks to help believers grow to love God with greater passion and reach out to the world with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. He combines real life experience, humor, and solid biblical teaching in his preaching, leadership, teaching, and writing ministry. The goal of his ministry is to help followers of Jesus: Love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.; Engage with people who are spiritually disconnected and help them draw near to Jesus.; Connect in the local Church and find their place in God's family.; Experience the sheer joy of knowing and walking with Jesus. Kevin does extensive speaking and training on topics such as mobilizing churches for effective outreach, leadership, and balancing the challenges of ministry and marriage.
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