You may have heard the word “oikos” spoken in church lately. (If not, keep reading. This still applies to you!) If you did, more than likely they weren’t talking about yogurt. Technically, “oikos” is the greek word used in the new testament to describe extended family. It typically could have included 15-35 family members–not just those who lived in the same house. In today’s terms, it means those who are in your sphere of influence–those we run into on a day to day basis, those whose lives we impact regularly.
So who is in your oikos?
My children and I each chose 10 names for our personal oikos lists. Many of the names overlapped since we are together so much. But a few names were specific to us as individuals–friends from our homeschool co-op, people in our classes at church, neighbors, even our allergy doctor that we see every week. We have committed to praying together for the people on our lists every morning during our family circle time. Sometimes we pray silently and sometimes we do it together out loud. Occasionally we stop to text them and let them know they are being prayed for and see if we can pray for anything specific. When the Spirit strikes, we might make a card, call, or do something special for them. It helps us focus our day realizing that life isn’t all about us, us, us, me, me, me. Our friends are getting prayed for and our hearts are getting blessed!
We live in a fast-paced world, so next year (if not mid-year) we will re-evaluate our oikos list and possibly change it up to better reflect who we are able to impact. For now, we have 10 people we are committed to making an impact on for God! It’s a lesson in commitment and service. What a blessing to be able to see the impact God is having in others’ lives and realize that we can be a part of that blessing!
So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household (OIKEIOS–plural of oikos) of the faith. Galatians 6:10 (NASB)
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/73344134@N00/2631957310″>SGP</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>