How can I maximize my home’s potential to be a hospitality center?
In Scripture, we are challenged to be “given to hospitality” (Romans 12:13). This focus begins with an attitude of welcome and generosity in the heart, which affects how we interact with people in every setting, including when we have guests in our homes.
It is unfortunate when in-home hospitality becomes a rare experience. Without it, we forfeit a unique aspect of fellowship. Christians should practice the gift of hospitality in order to deepen fellowship and accountability among fellow believers and to create a setting for meaningful relationships with friends, associates, and acquaintances.
Whether you are opening your home for social events or ministry outreach, inviting a group over for a meal, or hosting guests overnight, the following insights will help you host with excellence.
Make Wise Plans
In our society, although we enjoy many tools and technologies that are promoted as time-savers, our schedules often leave little time to do things like have someone over for dinner. Therefore, it is important to purposefully set aside time in your schedule to practice hospitality, to have guests in your home.
As you make plans, remember that hospitality isn’t just about a clean home and a good meal, although those elements do tend to promote good fellowship. The main goal of hospitality is personal interaction, which is an essential component of any valuable relationship.
Set your home in order and stock your kitchen with necessary items. Consider the ages and interests of your guests, and prepare for them by gathering toys, coffee table books, or other items that they might enjoy. Think about things your guests may need and make those items accessible.
Organize Your Home
Hosting guests provides an excellent motivation to get your household clean and organized! Your preparations will nurture a peaceful atmosphere in your home and allow you to be more relaxed with your guests.
Establish a routine of chores throughout the week. Promptly make home repairs. Periodically clean out closets and drawers in order to keep things inventoried and organized. If your guests are staying overnight or if they have small children who need a place to nap, do your best to accommodate them.
Share With Those in Need
Learn to view your home not simply as a storehouse for yourself and your family, but also as a haven, a place where others can receive help and encouragement. Watch for opportunities to minister to the Body of Christ through hospitality. God promises to bless whatever you give in His name—even a cup of cold water. (See Matthew 10:41–42.)
Jesus challenges us to reach out to those in need and give freely to those who cannot repay us. “. . . When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call . . . . the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12–14).
Offer a Warm Welcome
When you invite people into your home, welcome them enthusiastically and sincerely. You’ll set your guests at ease by offering a genuine smile and a hearty exclamation of “Welcome!” Serve them by offering to take their coats, giving them comfortable places to sit, and giving them something to drink.
Gain Wisdom From Your Guests
As you serve others through hospitality, you will receive many blessings, including rich fellowship and increased wisdom. Each guest who comes to your home has a unique life story. By asking good questions and listening carefully, you’ll be able to gain valuable insights from what they have experienced in life. Learn to ask good questions and to make the most of your opportunities to interact with others.
Share About God’s Work in Your Life
Attentive guests will learn a lot about you as they observe what you own and the way you have decorated your home. Evaluate the books, art, and other items in your home to determine if they reflect God-honoring values, and eliminate those that do not.
Consider creative ways to showcase God’s faithfulness. Perhaps you could display items that God has provided through answered prayer or set out photos of family members, friends, or individuals who have impacted your walk with God. Think of ways to exhibit Bible verses and inspiring quotes that have guided your decisions. When guests ask about these items, tell them how God has used those influences to reveal Himself to you.
Focus on What Really Matters
In all of the busyness and responsibility that naturally comes with hospitality, don’t get so caught up in all the details that you overlook what is truly important. Remember that people matter more than things.
Resist the urge to be a perfectionist. If letting go of a few of your ideals frees you to be more hospitable, then release them joyfully. Keep in mind that you don’t have to have a perfect, professional presentation in order to practice God-honoring, people-blessing hospitality!
This material is adapted from pages 169–173 of the Men's Manual, Volume II.