I had someone come up to me after a conference and say, “What you’re talking about isn’t really a church program. What you are talking about is just Christian living.” I’d like to look at this issue of hospitality from that perspective. I believe if we live the Christian life the way the Bible says to live it, our groups will grow. And parties are biblical!
A party was the strategy of Levi: “Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them” (Luke 5:29).
I’m not sure if the word “banquet” conveys the idea. Look at it in several other translations:
• great banquet (NIV)
• large reception (GW)
• big dinner (CEV)
• big feast (TEV)
• great feast (ASV)
• big reception (NASB)
Sounds like Levi knew how to throw a party!
You get the impression that many of these guests became followers of Jesus, even though the Pharisees didn’t like Jesus’ party plan too well.
Josh Hunt. (2010). Make Your Group Grow.