What is oikos?DISCIPLER Card Oikos

Oἶκος (oikos) is a Greek word that means "extended household." In Acts 17, Paul was sharing the gospel with a group of men at a temple in Athens. He told them that God "made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place" (Acts 17:26).

He meant, God intentionally determined the place and time you would live in history. He places non-believers in places to be reached by those who would share the gospel. Christian: that means he placed you in your community at this time for the purpose of sharing the gospel with those in your oikos—your household, your sphere of influence.

Over 75% of all believers came to follow Christ through a friend or family member sharing the gospel or inviting them to church. We must realize that God has not called us to share the gospel with everyone, but to be willing to share it with anyone. This is important to remember, since it is easy to take on the weight of the world when considering evangelism. Remember, God put us in the midst of our oikos so that we can intentionally and feasibly take part in making disciples of Jesus with those right around us.


Evangelism can be easily misunderstood as many things. You may think of evangelism as a monthly event, a spiritual gift in just a few people, or the work of a missionary in Africa. It can be those things, but it is so much more. Evangelism is a lifestyle.

Evangelism is sometimes seen as separate from discipleship, when it is really a crucial part of discipleship. When Jesus made disciples, he evangelized the lost by calling them to repent and believe in the gospel. He urged them to be baptized in his name and then taught them to obey the scriptures and follow him. That's discipleship!  

It's amazing to share the gospel and watch God save someone as they put their faith in him for the forgiveness of their sins. However, if we stop there, we might have made a convert, but not a disciple. At the same time, it's amazing when we teach younger believers to grow in their faith. However, if that is all we are doing, we are missing more than half of what Jesus devoted his life and ministry too. All of us are called to show and share the good news of the gospel with those who have yet to believe AND be committed to helping them grow in their faith and obedience to Jesus Christ.

We have four helpful words for guiding our intentional interaction with our oikos:


Pray for your oikos by name regularly.


Spend time with your oikos in everyday life.


Share the Word of God with your oikos.


Invite your oikos to consider following Jesus and come with you to church (or another gospel-preaching church).

Download an oikos card. Write down the names of people God has placed into your life that do not know Him, people that He has entrusted to you with the task of sharing the truth of the gospel. Use it to help you remember to intercede for them, to invest in them, to influence their lives with the gospel, and to invite them to follow Jesus.