Practicing Hospitality

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Building off of the post on Acts 2, I wanted to give a few more thoughts about hospitality. As I said previously, I think hospitality is one of the most important things that we don’t practice very well. It was one of the chief characteristics of the early church. It is kind of hard not to be hospitable when you have a church in your home and Christians there nearly every day of the week. I have been spoiled with hospitality during my lifetime. I have family that loves to have people in their home.

My wife and I love to have people in our home. We have a guest book by our front door that we have had since we got married three years ago. I just took a count through it and it currently has at least 136 names written in it. We try to only get people to sign the first time they visit so there are almost no repeats. You would not believe the blessing we have experienced from having people in our home. We have developed relationships with ministers, elders, teens, 20 somethings, families, neighbors, you name it – that could not have happened otherwise. We are having our new neighbors over tonight for lasagna. They are really an amazing family. They don’t really have a church home and we hope to get to know them better. If we just hoped this would happen through a bunch of waving from our backyard to theirs, it would take a million years at best. I am convinced you can do more in two or three hours around the dinner table with someone than in a decade of waves and hi’s. Hospitality is important. Here are some comments written in our guest book over the last three years:

“Send us money!” – a couple we were in school with
“We want money too!” – another couple we were in school with
“To new beginnings” – a couple that had been living together for over 10 years and who were trying their best to get a new start through Bible study.
“Thanks for letting us hand out” – a teen in the youth group
“Thanks for loving me” – yet another student in grad school with us
“Wonderful lesson, wonderful people” – a single dad with a one year old trying to get his life back on track.

Many other loves and thank you’s along the way. Give it a try and see what great things happen. Get to know your elders. Get to know your ministers. Get to know your neighbors. Your next best friend might be one visit away.

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