I think the American church has lost the skill or gift of showing hospitality. It seems years ago, we were all visiting neighbors, and providing meals and inviting new attenders of the church to come over for a get-acquainted meal.
Now, it hardly ever happens. I don’t know why, because there’s really nothing very difficult about showing hospitality.
Go ahead. Put your tech stuff away. (You won’t die!) Turn off the TV. (You can always record your favorite show.)
Hospitality can be as easy as this:
“Hey, you’re new. Wanna come on over for lunch? Naw, you don’t have to bring anything. We’re just cooking brats on the barbecue. You can? Great! Here’s our address.”
“Hey, I’m so glad you moved onto our block. Wanna come on over for tea sometime? You’re free? Great! How about tomorrow?”
When your guest(s) arrives, here are some great conversation starters:
- How did you two meet?
- What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
- Where all have you lived?
- Where were you born?
- What kind of work do you do?
I’m sure you can think of your own questions. People love to talk about themselves. And they’ll remember you for expressing an interest in them. (Just make sure that when you ask your questions you’re prepared to listen!) Who knows? You may have just begun a wonderful and rewarding friendship.
I think a lot of Christians think that ministry and serving is all about doing some great and glorious preaching, or going to Haiti, or giving humongous amounts of money, or running a soup kitchen.
But one of the grandest things we can do for God’s Kingdom is simply show an interest in others. You probably wouldn’t know it when you see people pass by. But most—maybe all of them—yearn for someone to take an interest in them.
I know. At times—such as when we move and start going to a new church— I’ve been one of those people.
“Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13 NIV Bible)