I get it! You are spinning a million plates and you open up social media to see a post written about hospitality. The first thing that comes to your mind is, “I have no time for hospitality!”
But I want to encourage you and challenge you for a brief moment, to ask yourself, “Why don’t we have people over?”
Here are a few reasons you may have thought of:
- My house is a wreck!
- What would I cook?
- Who would we have over?
- Too busy! I don’t have any free nights, and if I did, I would want to relax!
- Size of your home may be smaller than you like for having people over?
- Money for food- I can’t afford it.
A few months ago I was asked to teach on hospitality for our women’s meeting at church. And I am warning you, what I discovered in Scripture was a bit convicting. But first I want to stop and pray with you regarding our perspectives on hospitality.
Father, We know that you created us in your image, which means that we were made for communion and fellowship with you and others. We understand that the Great Commission happens when we open up our lives to others, willing to love and serve them in a way uncommon to today. We understand that Your Word has given us the command to be hospitable because we represent You and You are hospitable, caring, and loving to all, at all times. Help us, Lord, to be more like You and to desire to steward what You have given us, our homes, food, and tools, well for the glory and advancement of Your Kingdom. Amen.
What does God’s Word say about hospitality? Here are just a few things:
“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”1 Peter 4:9
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;” 1 Timothy 3:2
In biblical days, hospitality was a sacred duty-- an extension of the woman’s ministry of homemaking. But God also makes it very clear that He desires the men leading the church to love hospitality as well. It has been a practice woven throughout the history of God’s people! When you read through Acts, Philemon, Colossians, and 1 Corinthians you can see many examples where God is taking notice of the men and women practicing hospitality and even hosting churches in their homes.
All throughout Scripture God speaks of the importance of hospitality, fellowship, communion with one another. In fact, when you look closely at 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 1:6-8, we see that it is required for church leadership to be “given” to and love hospitality! As helpmeets to our husbands, we have a great privilege and honor to help them in this. To make the load of practicing hospitality more enjoyable for them. It's part of the team aspect of marriage!
Married to an Introvert? Here are 5 Tips to Practicing Hospitality When You are Married to an Introvert.
Have you ever thought, "I'm just not gifted in hospitality." Can I just encourage you not to compare yourself to others for a moment? God has given all of us what we need to be hospitable. It's about our countenance, not our food!
We are representatives of a great hospitable God whose arms are always reaching out and ready to receive.
Home is One Place Where the Great Commission Happens:
The Great Commission states to "go and make disciples" it doesn't say to go and make converts! Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!
Think for a moment where real, honest, intimate conversations about the Lord, what He is doing, or what struggles one could be going through actually take place. Do those hard or uncomfortable conversations happen in a restaurant? Maybe sometimes, but let’s be honest here, most people feel more comfortable both sharing and praying about the issues together in the safety of a home of caring people they can trust. Real discipleship happens in homes.
If hospitality isn’t happening in your home, you are missing out!
Because God has a plan for you and your family that includes hospitality.
Hospitality shouldn’t be something we have to work hard at, it should just be a part of our lifestyle.
Let’s Debunk those concerns about hospitality:
- I have 2 answers regarding the “house is a wreck” excuse. 1.) Don’t let having an untidy home stop you from doing ministry or having fellowship with others. That is putting non-eternal things and keeping an unrealistic image together more important than caring for people. 2.) If you truly struggle with chaos… simplify your stuff. Declutter, put things in storage if you have to, but don’t let stuff dictate fellowship.
- Knowing what to cook can be stressful, especially since everyone seems to have an eating intolerance today. So keep it simple: a potato bar, taco bar, taco salad, bbq, whatever… it doesn’t have to be fancy!
- If you don’t know who you would have over, then you really are way too busy. Either start by inviting over your church elders, pastors, leadership, or the new family that just starting going. What about your neighbor or the family you met at the soccer game? Do you know your kid's friend’s parents? If not, you definitely should. That would be TOP priority in my book.
- If you are too busy, then you need to rethink and prioritize.
- If the size of your home concerns you, again I would challenge you to think differently about hospitality. People are coming to spend time with you, not the extra 500 sq. ft. you wished you had. Some of the best nights we have had with friends were when we were crammed in close quarters talking and playing games.
As far as being concerned about money goes. If you don’t already include money for hospitality in your budget, then that shows where your commitment level to this calling is. Secondly, it is impossible to outgive God. Obey, pray, and just see what the Lord will do. Remember, Jesus Fed 5,000 from a few fish and loaves!
Overall, I truly hope you are encouraged and challenged to practice hospitality! It really is a cornerstone practice that we, the Church, should be practicing regularly. It is where true fellowship takes place, where hearts are opened, healed, encouraged, and changed. God can do some amazing things in your life through the use of your home. It's one of your homes purposes... to love people well in it!
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