Oikos is the Greek word for household. It is the fundamental unit of society involving families, friends, neighbors, and associates. The New Testament describes churches meeting in the oikos, and it teaches that believers belong to the “household” of God. The spread of the gospel happens most effectively through close relationships. Therefore, it is vital to explore and expand oikos evangelism.
Many people are familiar with the theory that any two people are connected by only six degrees of separation. The theory states that any two people can find a chain of five or fewer relational links that connect them to each other. Thus, all people are closely connected to the gospel. In other words, it only takes five redemptive connections to reach the world. Each new acquaintance is a doorway to a new oikos and a potential new link in a redemptive chain.
Map out your oikos of family, friends, neighbors and associates using the diagram below. Use the worksheet below to fill out those observations. Consider what other oikos those connections could lead you into.
oikos diagram and harvest worksheet
Note: This blog entry is part of a series based on Beyond Church Planting (coauthored with Neil Cole) that explores the process of evangelism and coming to faith.