Hospitality–An Overlooked Ministry
As a newly married couple, my husband and I love having people over for food, games, talking, and prayer. Although hospitality comes naturally to my husband (who comes from a big family), this is something I’m learning to be intentional about.
But why? Isn’t hospitality a southern term or something that only applies to housewives with perfectly decorated homes?
Actually, hospitality goes far beyond the appearance of one’s home. This practice is for every believer–whether single or married.
You don’t have to own a fancy house or expensive china to be hospitable. In fact, you can practice hospitality anywhere! Let’s dive into this often overlooked ministry and why it’s crucial for your Christian walk.
A Lifestyle of Love and Obedience
Hospitality opens the doors of our hearts to others, allowing vulnerability and love to grow.
When we let people into our space–whether that’s our home, dorm room, car, or lunch hour–we are letting them know that they are valuable.
This is what Jesus did for us when He laid down His life on the cross. Instead of living for Himself, He chose to obey the Father and endure the cross because He loves us.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
We can (and should) follow Christ’s example of radical obedience and love in every area of our lives. The essence of hospitality is to invite someone in and share our lives with them.
Hospitality is a lifestyle of giving and receiving abundant love.
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The Bible commands us to show hospitality to others. All disciples of Christ need to practice hospitality. In doing so, we grow the church, make disciples, and connect with unbelievers as we share the love of God.
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 NIV)
Hospitality Fosters Community
Jesus didn’t just model hospitality in His death. He practiced hospitality in His earthly ministry as well. He often went into homes and ate with sinners, disciples, and anyone else with a hunger for God.
Millennials are known for living in isolated bubbles. We skip church for our phones. We avoid friends for a Netflix binge.
And while everyone needs downtime to rest, we must not forget to meet with the body of Christ regularly.
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.(Hebrews 10:25 NIV)
When we share a meal or coffee with a friend or small group, we are actually feeding our spiritual hunger for connection and intimacy.
Jesus wants to make His home in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), but He also wants us to go out and invite others into His holy family.
A Creative Practice
We know how important hospitality is for living out the Gospel, but how do we show hospitality in everyday life?
If you don’t think you’re qualified for hospitality because you’re young, single, working, etc, check out the example of Lydia from Acts 16.
One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.(Acts 16:14-15 NIV)
Lydia was a professional business woman who loved the Lord. She was a working woman with a family. Sounds pretty modern, right?
But even though she had so many responsibilities, the call of the Gospel took first priority as she opened her heart to the Lord and her home to the apostles.
Here are a few practical ways you can show hospitality, whether you’re single or married.
- Invite a friend to your favorite coffee shop. Bring a note of encouragement for her.
- If a neighbor or coworker is sick, deliver a meal or a care package to her.
- Make your desk or office space hospitable by hanging encouraging Bible verses and setting out a bowl of candy or mints.
- Throw a board game or movie night. Have everyone bring a game or snack so you’re not overworked.
- If you live with your parents and they are having company over, offer to cook, vacuum, or set the table.
There are so many creative ways to practice hospitality. In fact, most of the above examples can take place outside of the home.
If we intentionally look for opportunities to show hospitality to others, the love of Christ will overflow with abundant grace.
What about you, lovely one? How do you show hospitality? Let me know in the comments below!
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Very insightful. Thank you for the reminder.
Thank you Sheryl! I’m glad you were blessed by this post.