A few weeks ago, I shared with you the idea of 8 to 15. It comes from the word “oikos” which is found several times in the New Testament. And no, it’s not the Yogurt. Oikos was the word that was used for home, house or household. Basically it’s an extended household. It was a dwelling that would include 3, maybe 4 generations of family under one roof, as well as servants and other travelers who might be staying with them.
Since we don’t live in this way anymore, our oikos or our 8 to 15 looks a little different than it did back then. Basically, we all have 8 to 15 people who are already in our lives that make up our extended household. Some might live under our roof, others may live under the roof next door, while others may work with us under another roof. We may know some that we ride the bus with, whom be buy groceries from or who deliver our mail. There are many different ways they are in our lives, but they are there. And, they are there for us. Actually, they are in our lives so we can be Jesus to them.
What we see is Jesus telling people to go to their Oik0s, their 8 to 15, and share with them what God has done. For example, in Mark 5, where Jesus has just healed this man who had been demon possessed, we see Jesus tell him this: “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you.” That word for home is the word oikos.
This is exactly what we’re trying to do as a church. God has already put 8 to 15 people in our lives that we can be Jesus to. God has already put 8 to 15 people in our lives that we can go and tell what the Lord has done for us. In fact, at our church, we believe that this group of 8 to 15 is the big reason we are here on this earth.
So, we have a challenge going on right now. We want every one who attends SixEight Church to invest in a relationship with their 8 to 15 and invite at least one of them to a church service or church event. Of course, our hope is that this will be a lifestyle for everyone. We desire to get to the point, where every week we know that there are going to be “8 to 15ers” in our midst.
Starting now, we would like to challenge you to “invest and invite” on or before September 8th. We have several events going on over the course of the summer that would be great entry points for someone in your 8 to 15. Whether that’s the church picnic on August 11th, the opening of the Man Cave on August 31st, the block party on September 7th or any one of our weekend services over the coming months – there is something you can invite one of your 8 to 15 to. You can invite them to come serve with you at the Food Pantry, or come help you as you help at Laundry Love. If they like doing yard work, you can invite them to come help us on our church work day on June 29th.
And as you may recall, we will be changing our Sunday morning lineup for the next couple of months to help us grow in community. On June 30th, we will be moving our Worship time to 10 am to give us time to break into small groups at 11:30. During this time we can begin to get to know one another on a deeper level and challenge one another to apply what we’ve been talking about on Sunday mornings. This would be a great time to bring someone with you to let them experience the kind of community we are at SixEight.
Can you imagine what could happen in our world if we all committed to doing this? Can you imagine what an impact we could make for God’s Kingdom if we committed to living this way? Seriously, just stop for a minute and think about the kind of impact this could have. Just think of all the hopeless and helpless people you know whose lives could be changed for an eternity because you invested in your relationship with them and invited them to church!!! You could literally be the voice that leads them to the most important relationship of their existence.
So, will you join us? Will you join in the mission Christ has given every one of his followers? You want know something interesting about that passage in Mark 5? The man who had been healed wanted to go and travel with Jesus. Instead, Jesus told him to go to his Oikos and tell them what Jesus had done. So, what will you do?
Make sure to let us know how this is going for you. We want to help you in this journey that we are all on together. And as you invite people from your 8 to 15, share the stories with us so we can celebrate with you! Together, we will really see a big impact on our world!