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Episode Info: How can your church welcome visitors in a way that delights them and lets them know they matter? In this episode we speak with Debi Nixon of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection about the essential Christian practice of hospitality. Transcript Announcer: Leading Ideas Talks is brought to you by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Subscribe free to our weekly newsletter, Leading Ideas, at churchleadership.com/leadingideas. Leading Ideas Talks is also brought to you by Be the Welcoming Church. This video tool kit will help you develop a congregation-wide ethos of hospitality and institute best practices for greeting newcomers. Learn more and watch sample videos at churchleadership.com/shop. How can your church welcome visitors in a way that delights them and lets them know they matter? In this episode we speak with Debi Nixon of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection about the essential Christian practice of hospitality. Ann Michel: I’m Ann Michel associate director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary and host of this episode of Leading Ideas Talks Podcast. I’m pleased to be talking today with Debi Nixon who is a senior staff member at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Debi is co-author with Yvonne Gentile of a new book The Art of Hospitality and that’s the subject for our talk today. So thanks for being with us, Debi. Debi Nixon: Thank you so much for the invitation to be here and I just want to thank you and all of those at the Lewis Center for all that you do to equip us as leaders in the local church. Ann Michel: Well, thank you for that. Hospitality is such an important subject. So I thought a good way to get our listeners into this subject would be to ask you for your definition of hospitality as it applies to the work of a local congregation. Debi Nixon: One of the reasons that I am passionate about hospitality is because I have learned how transformative it is in people’s lives. Because when we experience something that goes beyond what we expected, it makes us more interested to dive in deeper, to learn more, to get closer. And so when I think about a definition of radical hospitality, one of the things that I always tell people is that I believe that radical hospitality is hospitality that delights people, that surprises them, they feel noticed. Because they’re experiencing something that they hadn’t anticipated. And because of that, then for those in a ministry, it allows us to have a greater opportunity then for them to get to know the love of Jesus Christ and for us to share the gospel with them. Ann Michel: It’s interesting, I think, and you point this out in the book, that hospitality of course is a concern for all kinds of organizations, not just the church. There are corporations that appreciate that good hospitality is part of good customer relations. There is a hospitality...
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