My weekly rhythm is organized around table fellowship. There are many ways to practice hospitality. This is my way. It really happened, because, as a homeschool mom, I’m home all day from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm and the kitchen is right there, and I love to cook and to feed people. We are in a neighborhood with a number of people who do not know the Lord, and who are very suspicious of a Christian worldview.
So, it’s easier for me to do something regular and expected. It’s much easier for me to practice daily hospitality than it would be monthly because I don’t have to do something different. I get up in the morning, I put on a pot of beans, I put something in the crock pot, I have my devotions, I bake some bread a couple of times a week, I homeschool my children, I do laundry, I exercise, and then by the time 5:30 comes around, the kids set the table, and neighbors and friends start to come in.
My weekly rhythm is organized around table fellowship.
Come One, Come All
With that as a core, we intentionally invite people who do not know the Lord to join us. Because we do this every night, we’re sort of known for that, and it’s not quite as strange. Sometimes, people have asked how we get people to come over. That’s a good question. One of the things that we’ve done is to, first of all, be visible and transparent. This is what we like to do, so it’s not a big deal. Come, bring your dog. To us, that’s normal.
The other thing that we’ve done is make good use of the Nextdoor app, which is a social media app. In our neighborhood, we have 300 houses. Pretty regularly, we host an all-neighborhood event at our house.
We live in North Carolina where the weather is beautiful so we can be outside and I don’t have 300 people standing in my kitchen. I’ve discovered that there’s something called the 10% rule. If you invite 300 people, you’re going to get thirty.
So, we do that pretty regularly, and it’s been a wonderful way to get to at least know something about our neighbors. But, my rhythm is daily, it’s regular, and it’s organized around the table.
Hospitality, biblically speaking, means love of the stranger. What hospitality is not is fellowship.
Rosaria Butterfield invites us into her home to show us how God can use “radical, ordinary hospitality” to bring the gospel to our lost friends and neighbors.
Hospitality is not a gift unto itself, but a means through which other spiritual gifts are displayed: mercy, serving, giving, and evangelizing.