First, as you are going … welcome a stranger. Missional communities are known for their missional integrity, missional clarity, missional fidelity, and most importantly, their missional hospitality. Missional communities practice reflexive hospitality to the “foreigner” and “alien.” When you have to put Welcome in fancy bold letters on your welcome mat, something is wrong. And very sad.
We are more likely to have heard of “stranger-danger” than the “stranger-effect.”74 But some cultures honor the stranger, even to the point of conferring special status or grace on the stranger. This is known as the stranger-effect.
In no other faith system is the stranger-effect more pronounced. Stranger love means more than smiling at people you don’t know. Stranger love means more than pouring coffee and handing out bulletins. There is no stronger love than this … stranger love. The stranger-effect demands and displays good manners toward those least likely to receive it.
Leonard Sweet, So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2009).