Hos-pi-tal-i-tee

Heath Bruce Leadership, Volunteers

noun

the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

If we look to scripture, we can see an abundance of text that point to the exact importance of hospitality and serving the needs of others, whether in our homes, at an off-site event or at a typical church service.

Life by the Spirit: Serve Each Other Humbly

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).

With a current society that is filled with selflove and conceitedness, this verse is especially important for Christians to follow when serving others. No matter how big or small your event may be, we must be hospitable with guests. However, it is easy for us to get too caught up in exceeding the needs of guests who attend our events. We might have this “look at us” attitude to truly sell guests on coming back to future events that we host by serving them exquisite food and having the best performances during worship, filled with bright lights and fog machines. While that is all fine to offer, such actions can lead us into having a mindset that we must continue to “one up” another church, to basically steal guests from other locations and make them consumed with only our provided services. Competition between Coca-Cola and Pepsi will always exist, but that is not what our Heavenly Father wants with individual Christian churches. Since we were called to be free, people who are involved with a church need to serve their guests by spreading the gospel with a humble attitude and love. Whether that means doing so at a service or during an off-site event.

Living for God: Act Without Complaining

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:8-10).

This Biblical text is another perfect reference that illustrates how to live for God by engaging in hospitality with guests. God has provided us with gifts that should be used to fully serve others. Guests who attend our events have many needs, and we must be present to them without complaining. For instance, a venue in your area could be having a summer retreat for local youth groups from 15 total churches one weekend. Can you imagine the pandemonium around that event with all those children running amok? For the staff, serving a meal or setting up a meeting space for that many people would definitely give them reason to grumble. The same could be said for a church having a huge Easter service with an Easter egg hunt to follow. The long hours of preparation for different events can be taxing. However, the end rewards are that much sweeter knowing that your event had a positive impact on someone by offering exceptional hospitality.

Love in Action: Help Those in Need

“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13).

Scripture additionally tells us that we must love in action and help those in need when we practice hospitality. When analyzing this text, it is vital to note that retreats are not just for youth groups. Churches are also not only for devoted followers. Every one of God’s people are in some sort of need, and we have to help no matter what their circumstances are. Churches must be eager to practice hospitality for all of God’s people as well. A husband and wife could be struggling financially or a young adult might be facing an addiction. As a result, Christians are required to practice hospitality and help those in need of assistance by taking the time to hear people’s stories, offer prayer, and encourage them to put their whole faith in God. You never know. The way you practice hospitality can truly help God’s people who are in need.