Hospitality Brings Jesus’ Love to Neighbors

Each day, the population of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, increases significantly. Phoenix grows by about 300 daily, or about 100,000 annually.

With only 1 Southern Baptist church for every 18,500 people, it is an ever-present challenge to get the message of Jesus Christ’s love to newcomers and the 5.49 million people already living in the metro area, said Monty Patton, a Send City missionary and founder and co-pastor of Mountain Ridge Church in Glendale, located northwest of Phoenix.

Patton works with sending churches and their church planters to establish ministries in Phoenix and Tucson. He; his wife, Nancy; their 2 daughters; and their son-in-law are all devoted to area church-planting efforts.

They have found that building relationships is essential in proclaiming Jesus Christ to the burgeoning masses—1 person at a time.

“In our context, hospitality means serving others first and being a good neighbor,” Monty Patton said. “I personally open my home to my neighbors by inviting them over to eat or watch football in order to bring people back to God. I’m sharing faith with my Hindu and Chinese neighbors right now.  

“Our churches practice hospitality by serving their schools and their neighbors,” he continued. They do acts of service, provide supplies, renovate campuses, care for students’ families, and invest in their community, such as coaching football.

After 1 church completed a project at an underserved school, a teacher said she had never seen a congregation serve its community until then. “This was the first time that she had seen a group of believers living out the gospel,” Monty Patton said.

As a result of showing hospitality and living out the gospel, “we are seeing the opportunities to minister to families that are hurting and in crises,” he said. “Because of our church plants’ desire to be community, the gospel is being received.”

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for more husband-and-wife church-planting teams.
  • Pray for more opportunities to serve communities and share the gospel.

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, a vast missions field. 

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