My sweet friend Niki asked me to share some ideas for extending hospitality in the home, a topic that I am happy to cover because it is near and dear to my heart.
In the last few years, I’ve been asked to speak several times to women’s groups on using the home for hospitality, and it seems that God is moving women to open their eyes to all that we have at our disposal in our homes for the sake of the gospel. (Stuff we often take for granted or complain about!)
I believe hospitality is one the most underestimated, under-utilized ministries in the church today.
I believe our homes are the “hidden talent” (Matthew 25:14-30) of our modern day churches, because it is a resource that is rarely used. Women today value being out of the home doing “important things.” But God says that by being a good manager of your home, and by caring well for your family and others, and by extending our hands–and homes–to the needy via hospitality, the gospel will be well spoken of.
In the scope of all church history, American women have so much! I wonder what God’s response will be when we are asked how we used our goods (homes, clothes, meals, technology, etc…) for His sake? Were we good stewards of His gifts? Or did we use them for our own pleasure and indulgence? Will it be “Well done, good and faithful servant.” or “You foolish servant!”?
I often imagine the gasping, wide-eyed, mouth-gaped-open look of amazement in the faces of the other saints in heaven, when they realize all that I had at my disposal as a middle-class American woman, part of the top 5% richest people in all the WORLD. I imagine their excitement, their leaning in a little closer to hear what I MUST have done for our Lord with all THAT at my disposal, expecting to hear great things! It haunts me, actually, that thought. It prompts me to steward our home well.
I encourage women to reach out of their comfort zones and into the community for the sake of the gospel. I joke and call it “Espresso Evangelism.” –Invite a neighbor in for coffee or to just to encourage her. Read out, instead of getting stuck in the rut of only associating with the women of your church, like it’s some kind of country club. Invite a mom from the community over to your home and befriend her. What are her needs? The gospel? Parenting help? A listening, supportive ear? Counseling? Material goods?
It starts by simply using what you have. Look around you. Of what has God made you a steward? A teapot? A tea cup? Share it for the sake of the gospel.
I love this quote:
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR LIVING ROOM AS A LAUNCHING PAD FOR NEW LIFE, HOPE, MINISTRY AND MISSION.
and this one:
“The ultimate act of hospitality was when Jesus Christ died for sinners to make everyone who believes a member of the household of God.
We are no longer strangers and sojourners. We have come home to God. Everybody who trusts in Jesus finds a home in God.”
I’ve told Niki that I feel kinda silly writing some of these ideas down, because so much of it seems like common sense. She told me that if you didn’t grow up in a home where hospitality was modeled, then it isn’t common sense. So, next week, it’s Hospitality week here on the blog, so gear up for some basic Hospitality 101 type posts.
But before we start, I want to point you to some older articles I’ve written on the subject, and also share some of my favorite articles around the web.
- This guest post entitled Hospitality Hints for Mothers of Young Children, I wrote for Natural Little Cottage. (links in this article link to my old blog address)
- Hospital-ity: an article about soul care and meeting physical and emotional needs.
- Hospitality Hints: Some practical dos and don’ts. (realizing just now that I named both articles the same name. Smooth!)
- Where I learned hospitality: from these two dear women.
- A Life That Says Welcome where I tell about a sweet family who stayed with us for a week. What a blessing they were.
- Delicious on a Dime, a guest post I wrote for Saving and More about hospitality on a frugal budget.
- Jesus Finds Me In My Kitchen, a guest post about redeeming the time whilst you wash dishes and serve in your kitchen.
- A glimpse into a A Spirit Filled Home, a guest post where we peek into a Christian home where the Spirit is reigning.
- Ruth from Gracelaced’s post entitled True Hospitality and this wonderful interview with her mom that includes 10 Thoughts on Hospitality.
In the comments below, tell what you’d like to learn in this series or share your favorite hospitality tip, won’t you?