Hospitality 101 Series

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.

In the comments below, tell what you’d like to learn in this series or share your favorite hospitality tip, won’t you?

7 comments

  1. Tim says:

    Espresso evangelism sounds like my kind of ministry, Sarah! And your point about looking around you and using the resources God’s given you now is excellent.

  2. Niki says:

    You are a sweet friend too! There is no one I know more qualified to write on the topic! : ) Thank you for doing this Sarah, it has already been a blessing!

  3. GraceLaced says:

    Sarah, thank you so much for featuring my posts. I say a hearty AMEN to what you’ve written here! These thoughts on hospitality so resonate with me, as we served as church planters and extended ministry from our very real daily lives, straight out of our home. It was in that context that I really learned the heart of “life on life”…over dinner prep and serving up tea. Thanks for this series!

  4. Susan says:

    Thank you for a great post and great links! They’re all such good reminders!

    I love opening my home and would love to hear some new ideas for meals that can be on the table within just a few minutes of coming home from church on Sunday mornings.

    I try to find ways to include my children in the preparations for visitors and help them learn to serve visitors while they are in our home. I have learned from friends with older children what a blessing their older kids are when they take the young ones to keep them out of trouble and entertained so the parents can visit. I am trying to teach my children to do the same with younger visitors.

    Some extended guests are arriving tonight, so your series begins with perfect timing!

    • Sarah Beals says:

      Susan, do you have a crock pot? This is what I use on Sundays when we have people over. AllRecipes.com has some great top 20 crockpot meals that I love. Either that or I do the summer strawberry salad with grilled chicken on top.(recipe on my blog) It can be grilled the night before and reheated quickly. Yes, older kids entertaining the younger children is a blessing for everyone! :)

  5. kimita says:

    I’m really looking forward to this series! My heart is here with you too. However, how should you respond if your husband isn’t fully on board with inviting neighbors over? And also how do you involve young children in hospitality without feeling like you’re “ignoring” them? I can see myself becoming more of a Martha in this situation and getting consumed with having things ready, picked up, etc. Or if you invite over a neighbor who has no children…ways to include children in this too? It’s challenging to leave my children on their own for a while without a fight breaking out :) Thanks!

    Kim

    • Sarah Beals says:

      Kim, if your husband isn’t really on board, then I would talk to him, find out why, and then wait until he’s ready. OR, you could have friends over for lunch while he is at work, if he prefers a quiet house at night. When the kids are young, you can have them “help” get ready by having them chop veggies for a salad or dust the living room with you. As for the fights breaking out…that’s just life with kids. :) No “quick fixes” for that one…although I wish I had one for you. :)