Then Jesus said to his host:
“When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:12-14
In this passage, Jesus encourages us to practice radical hospitality.
When we extend God’s hospitality, we are more like Jesus and we embody and extend the gospel to others. We live out our calling to love as Jesus loved.
This requires “getting our hands dirty”. Hospitality is the true “sweat equity” in the kingdom of God. It starts with our neighbors who are strangers to us. It leads to dirty dishes as we invite people into our homes or into the local coffee shop or restaurant. We can NOT be missional if we have a “closed door” policy when it comes to our homes.
Edith Shaeffer put it this way “Every Christian home is meant to have a door that swings open.”
Here are five practical suggestions to include hospitality in your life:
- Tithe Your Friday Nights. If there are 52 weeks a year, a 10% tithe of Friday nights would be roughly 5 nights a year. Think of what it would mean if more and more of God’s people would give 5 nights a year to extend friendship to those who are outside of the body of Christ.
- Include new people and neighbors in your regular social plans. You are already doing it, so open up your plans and include someone else.
- Pray for opportunities to extend hospitality to others. Every time I have prayed for this, God has answered with an opportunity.
- “Play” well with others. Truly… just play cards! Josh Hunt shared that 90% of visitors who played cards with a church member joined the church! People are not looking for “friendly” as much as they are looking for “friends”!
- Consider planting a new church. New churches that last and that reach those who are far from God are built on hospitality.