Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mission as Hospitality - and Guesting? - A Missiology of Guesting 2

Mission as Hospitality - and Guesting? - A Missiology of Guesting 1

Hospitality is a well-known metaphor for mission.[1] In the new WCC mission document it is stated that

"To the extent that the church practises radical hospitality to the estranged in society, it demonstrates commitment to embodying the values of the reign of God (Isaiah 58:6). …. God’s hospitality calls us to move beyond binary notions of culturally dominant groups as hosts, and migrant and minority peoples as guests. Instead, in God’s hospitality, God is host and we are all invited by the Spirit to participate with humility and mutuality in God’s mission."[2]

God is our host and we are his guests. The Danish theologian and hymn writer N. F. S. Grundtvig calls the church a “guest chamber”.[3] God’s hospitality – God being the host – motivates and inspires us to participate in a mission of hospitality where we in the church welcome people and extend God’s hospitality to them. Together with them we are all guests of our Lord, seated at the same table.

The host/hospitality metaphor reveals many important aspects of the mission of God and the misson of the church, but I n this chapter, however, I intend to approach the host-guest relationship from another angle and pursue “guesting” or “being a guest” as a metaphor for mission in the hope that this metaphor may reveal other missionals aspects of mission that might be pertinent to the our postmodern Danish context. God as guest, Jesus as guest, the missionary as guest.

[1] See for instance: Julius Gathogo, "African Hospitality form a Missiogical Perspective: Aiding Church and Societal Growth" (2011).

[2] Together towards life: mission and evangelism in changing landscapes. Proposal for a new WCC Affirmation on Mission and Evangelism. Submitted by the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) (September 2012). Accessed at .

[3] In the hymn from 1825, revised in 1853, ”Tør nogen ihukomme”.

”Huset med de høje sale
tømres kun af skaberhånd,
må fra Himmelen neddale
som til støvet Herrens Ånd;
vi af bløde bøgestammer,
under nattergalesang,
bygge kun et gæstekammer
til en himmelsk altergang.”

E-book on Missiology - in Progress

I hereby invite all interested readers of this blog to comment on and discuss and contribute to a new writing project I have just begun. I am in the process of writing an e-book on missiology, and have already written one chapter on "A Missiology of Listening", which will be made available online shortly. Now I plan to write another chapter with the working title "A Missiology of Guesting", that is a missiology that explores the metaphor of being a guest.

When a section of the chapter has been discussed I will temporarily publish it on my website: www.intercultural here: E-book in progress. Please,feel free to comment, criticize, contribute. You may also contact me throuhg my e-mail address:

Mogens S. Mogenesn
Sunday, September 16, 2012

  •  Are you aware of book or articles on missiology seen from the perspective of the guest/guesting?
  • What do you think of exploring the metaphor of "guesting" for missiology?