Hospitality Definition: Art of entertaining guests
Hospitality Synonyms: Welcoming, Social, Friendliness
When we think of hospitality most of us think of food, guest lists, and decorations.
However, did you know that hospitality is mandated in the Bible?
“OFFER HOSPITALITY TO ONE ANOTHER WITHOUT GRUMBLING” (1 Peter 4:9 NIV).
Also, notice that hospitality is a mandate with a caveat. We are told not just to offer hospitality, but do it without grumbling. Oh no! Sometimes my hospitality face looks like this:
MY HOSPITALITY DEFENSE
Let me explain. I have a defense that perhaps you don’t have in your excuse box. You see I took the Myers-Briggs personality test; you know the one where four letters describe your personality type. My first letter was “I.” Years later, I took the test a second time; h
Yes, I’m an introvert.
Don’t misunderstand, I like people and enjoy spending time with friends and family. Nevertheless, when constantly surrounded by people I’m drained and stressed.
If I don’t have time to re-energize, it takes every fiber of my being to keep talking and be pleasant. Extroverts can’t understand the need to get away to rejuvenate because people energize rather than drain them.
No right or wrong answers declares Myers-Briggs. Nevertheless, the world values extroversion, which includes the church. It leaves me asking if we introverts are less loving or faithful in our walk with God.
SO WHAT’S A CHRISTIAN INTROVERT TO DO?
The Bible encourages, even requires, hospitality. My “excuse” notwithstanding, God expects obedience.
Upon studying this scriptural mandate, I discovered that Philoxenia is the Greek word used in the New Testament for “hospitality.” Literally, the word combines the roots for “love” and “stranger.” Romans 12:13 gives some insight too:
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (NIV).
Therefore, it’s not all about food, guest lists, and decorations. God isn’t telling us to spend all our time at church functions or to be a party girl. Biblical hospitality is to:
LOVE STRANGERS – PARTICULARLY THOSE IN NEED.
So today we are examining Scriptures which teach ways to offer hospitality biblical style. Introverts will be happy to know there are many different ways to obey this discipline.
Additionally, these suggestions are actions that both introverts and extroverts can do. So everyone should read on.
HOSPITALITY VERSE # 1:
“Greet also the church that meets at their house” (Romans 16:5 NIV)
Here Paul is talking about a group of believers who met in Priscilla and Aquila’s home. While home churches are gaining popularity, the majority of Christians still worship in churches. Therefore, how do we follow this hospitable couple’s example? Are home Bible studies and church socials the only way to emulate their welcoming ways?
How about making the church a hospitable place to worship for members and guests alike?
– Show up for cleanup days.
– A nursery is a chaotic place. To help nursery workers and provide a pleasant atmosphere for the children, volunteer to clean the toys and keep the area organized.
– Donate toys to the nursery and books to the church library.
– Help prepare meals for funerals. This ministry was a blessing to me when my parents died.
– Plan a community outreach program, e.g. show a movie in the church yard for the neighbors, invite people in the community to a picnic or dinner, staff your nursery at Christmas time, so busy families can shop without kids in tow, get a group of volunteers willing to drive people to doctors appointments or the grocery store, etc.
Known for their hospitality, Priscilla and Aquila’s home was a welcoming place for visitors, travelers, and worship. We too can make our place of worship a welcoming place while serving our church family.
HOSPITALITY VERSE # 2
Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Heb. 13:2 NIV).
Have you ever missed an opportunity to show the love of Jesus to someone? I know I have many times. Sometimes people in need are different from us; therefore we allow comfort to supersede people’s needs physically and spiritually. Of course, there is also fear or busyness that takes precedence over sharing Jesus with others.
Here are some ways to help a stranger and share Jesus too:
Assist a person with a flat tire.
If a person doesn’t have enough to cover their purchase, offer to cover the deficit.
Cook or deliver Meals on Wheels. Isn’t this the same as providing food for a stranger?
Go to a nursing home and visit residents; e.g., listen to their stories, open their mail, read, offer to walk with them, etc.
HOSPITALITY VERSE # 3
She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, and
Her name? We don’t know; however, the Shunammite woman offered hospitality and respite to the prophet Elisha.
We can open our home to guest speakers visiting our church, but there are other ways to offer respite for our pastors and others in ministry.
Offer to watch the children for a night out.
Offer services like home repairs, lawn care, or cooking to lighten the load.
Volunteer in the church office, e.g. fold bulletins, put messages on the prayer chain, make copies, order supplies, etc.
Send money directly to missionaries to use at their own discretion and don’t worry about the deduction.
Donate your frequent flyer miles to missionaries for a trip home or for your pastor to take a vacation.
HOSPITALITY CONCLUSION AND COMMENTS
So when you read about hospitality in the Bible take a different view and be creative. You can obey even if you aren’t a party girl! For more information about biblical hospitality check out this article from Got Questions.
As always, comments are always welcome. Provide your take on biblical hospitality and suggestions on some creative ways you have welcomed others.
Also, WSC takes a different perspective on the workout. Check out our Christian workout series.
Blessings until next time.