I’ve written previously about the process of recruiting hosts and how it fits into the crowd-to-core strategy of neighborhood groups. I’ve given you the basics of a great sermon on the topic from Matthew 9:35-38. Another really good passage is found in 2 Kings 6:24-7:9. Are you familiar with that story? You may have heard bits and pieces and never connected it to the way God’s heart goes out to the unconnected, to the people who don’t have what they need.
2 Kings 6:24-7:9 is the story of a city under siege. In the story the Aramean army has surrounded a city; bringing great distress as the food supplies grows short and become more and more expensive. The people are desperate and even begin eating their own children, paying eighty shekels of silver for a donkey’s head.
It’s also a story of four lepers who find themselves just outside the city’s walls while the Aramean army surrounds the city. They’re in a tough spot and they know it. But as they look at the situation they come to the conclusion that there’s no upside to remaining where they are. If they stay where they are they’ll starve, just like the people inside the walls. On the other hand, if they go over to the enemy camp…”maybe they’ll give us something to eat. Worst case scenario, they’ll kill us…but maybe they’ll give us something to eat.”
So the four lepers get up and walk across the fields to the enemy camp. When they arrive they discover that sometime in the night the enemy left so suddenly that they left behind everything. Food. Drink. Clothing. Everything. And suddenly these four men, once starving, found themselves alone at the buffet line! They eat and drink. Maybe for the first time in days or weeks they have enough to eat and drink. It is amazing and they gorge themselves. You can imagine it can’t you?
But then, out of nowhere, one of them is conscience-stricken. “We’re not doing right,” he says. “This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”
In that moment he realized that just a football field away there were multiple generations that would die if they didn’t get what they needed to eat and drink.
Stop right there. See the group life application? This is another perfect story to weave into a small group ask.