Creating an Outpost Through Your Home

A big part of what we want to encourage you guys to do is create an outpost through your home. That’s the end game for a lot of what we’re trying to do, a place where the kingdom is experienced and you’re creating a house of refuge. I’m always on the lookout for examples of these kinds of homes. There was a home in Germany before World War II that really served as a house of refuge and that was the house of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s parents. They had an amazing family, an amazing family culture. Both Jeff and I got geeked out years ago on Eric Metaxas’s book on Bonhoeffer. It’s such a beautiful book, but probably where that home culture was best described was by Bonhoeffer’s student Otto, and he says this amazing description of the musical evenings at his parents’ house.

He said whatever he had, talking about Bonhoeffer, and whatever he was, he made that accessible to others. The great treasure he possessed was the cultivated, elegant, highly-educated open-minded home of his parents, which he introduced us to. The open evenings, his house was opened for his disciples and family to come eat, play music, sing stories on Friday night, which took place every week, has such an atmosphere that they became a piece of home for us as well. Then Eric goes on to say even when Bonhoeffer went to London in 1934, his parents continued to treat these students like family, including them in the larger circle of their society and home. Bonhoeffer did not separate his Christian life from his family life. His parents were exposed to other bright students of theology and his students were exposed to the extraordinary Bonhoeffer family.

Man, this is probably the part of the book that I could not get out of my head after I finished. It was the way his mother functioned in the home, the conversations that were described in the Bonhoeffer home. You could see how they cultivated a culture where Dietrich Bonhoeffer … And you ask how is he one of the only people that could stand up to Hitler and really create the confessing church movement. It was so important in the kingdom that there be a church in Germany that represented the kingdom.

It really was the church that Bonhoeffer was leading through the confessing church movement. But it was all because of the home culture that created the root structure so that he was not swayed by all of the propaganda that was just pouring out of Hitler’s Germany. I’d really encourage you guys to look at that. I love the idea that if you want to create an outpost, then you’re basically creating a place where … As you’re making disciples, as your kids are getting older and they’re introducing their friends to the home, just being in your house is a discipleship experience. Just experiencing your house is tasting the kingdom of God. The way that you guys interact, the way that you treat food and the way that you have music, all of these things that were just alive and beautiful in the Bonhoeffer house, really allowed people to have that experience.

Yeah. I was going to say the same thing of just I think sometimes we put too much pressure on the home in some sense, when it’s like just invite people in to what you already like. Whether it’s music, whether it’s something kind of create this orbit in the family that draws people. It’s almost like this light that people are drawn to the light. Make your home like that. Whether it’s food, whether it’s drink, whether it’s music, whether it’s something, create these rituals and rhythms that then people start orbiting around. Reminds me too, of the Brooks’ article, The Forged Family, where they almost … Like the students … I think one thing I would say too to families is don’t forsake. Make sure you’re prepared and ready to take in people at their most vulnerable times.

I feel like young adults, college students, there’s so many stages where people are so prime and ripe to be welcomed into a home environment and usually because we are either saddled with debt or saddled with workaholism or hustle or whatever that we just run over those seasons. It’s like, “Man, almost get ready for those … Those seasons are awesome to invite people in.” It’s more sustainable. They can help et cetera, so I would say make sure you’re not forsaking those by paying attention and looking for them.

Another example is the Francis Schaeffer L’Abri.

Yeah, exactly.

It all came out of when his kids got to college age, they just every weekend brought their friends in and that is one of the most beautiful ways to have immersive discipleship through the home.

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