Being hospitable comes naturally and easy to some while others can feel overwhelmed, shy and perhaps even unsure of what to do. I tend to be a little of both. Once I get started with a plan, I tend to feel natural in the process but often feel unsure that others would want to share in my hospitality. Whenever I have those feelings I tend to duck and cover, so to speak. By that, I mean I often act like an ostrich sticking my head in the sand for fear of being rejected rather than jumping in and doing. But I know that I have a responsibility to being hospitable.
Offering a light of hospitality doesn’t have to just be inside the confines of your own home.
“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:9,10 NKJV.
30 Hospitality Tips
Most likely God has blessed you with more than just a home. You probably have many gifts which you can utilize to show hospitality to others. That’s why I’m sharing with you 3o Ideas for being a light of hospitality to your community.
- Be Prepared
Keep some hosting supplies on hand in your home so you can host at a moments notice.
1. In the Linen Closet: For overnight guests: Clean sheets, towels & washcloths, some candles, CD’s for quiet music and a small fan.
2. From the Garden: Having perennials or evergreens in your garden or yard makes for easy clip and arrange bouquets for the guestroom, bathroom or dinner table. Fruit trees or berry bushes in the yard can make for a quick sauce over ice cream or with a little more time, a cobbler or pie can be put together.
3. In the Kitchen: Keep tea bags, an extra package of pasta and a jar of alfredo sauce in the cabinet because in a moments notice you can have a fancy 2 ingredient meal on the table with ice tea to drink even when you may have nothing else to serve. Also, whenever you make a batch of brownies or cookies, double the recipe and save the extras in freezer bags and put in the freezer. They can be thawed fairly quickly. Also, keep pint or 2 of ice cream in the freezer and a jar of chocolate or caramel sauce in the cabinet. Either cookies or ice cream makes for a simple but tasty dessert.
4. In the Bathroom: keep a basket or jar filled with those leftover hotel shampoos, soaps etc.
5.On the Porch: Keep a fresh welcome mat, flowerpot and/or wreath hanging on the door, also having a nice outdoor seating place can make guests feel like they have comfortable place to step away from being entertained for a few moments of quiet time.
- Go & Do
1. Offer to host a book reading at your local libraries children section, just once a month in the summer months and you’ll have local moms thrilled.
2. Clean a home. I’m sure you know someone who has ongoing health issues that might make it difficult to do housework. Show up with a bucket of supplies, dust, clean toilets, run the vacuum and wash up any dishes in the sink. Then ask if you can make a cup of tea and sit and chat for a bit.
3. Organize a luncheon for the widows in your home congregation.
4. Serve and clean up a meal following a funeral for the grieving family, either in their home, or the church building.
5. Take the kids along and provide gardening services, mowing, trimming and weeding for a shut in.
- Host Travelers
1. Preachers traveling to your congregation for gospel meetings, seminars, etc.
2. Family members traveling into the area for a funeral. Often the immediate family is overwhelmed, and making an offer for extended family to have a comfortable place to stay is a blessing during a difficult time.
3. Host out of town guests for weddings. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, often come to weddings, but sometimes affording a hotel is a stretch, offer your home to the bride, bride’s mother or maid of honor, and simply say, “I know you have a lot of friends and family coming into town, if any of them need a place to stay, I’d love to host them for the weekend, just give them my number and I’ll take care of everything.”
4. Meet & Greet Visitors at worship, then invite them home or out to eat for lunch.
5. Share your home with parents who have a child in the hospital. Families traveling into your town for hospitalization may not be able to afford a hotel for extended periods of time and the charity house that the hospital may have access to is often full and difficult to get a reservation for, so sharing your home can be a true blessing.
1. Invite a widow over for Sunday lunch.
2. Host a teen get together in your own home, even if you don’t have teens. Sometimes teens just want to hangout without the parents around. Parents want to be sure their kids are in a safe place, so you can provide a safe place for the teens to hangout. Ideas: Teen movie night, game night, devotional night, scavenger hunts, Minute to Win It Fun Night, glow in the dark capture the flag, girls slumber party.
3. Host a parents night out. Ask for help from empty nesters or teens and give parents a break by keeping the kids so they can go out for a date night.
4. Invite an elderly or empty next couple out for a shared meal.
5. Ask a widow over for tea or coffee, then set and chat, get to know her (or him) and before long you’ll discover you have more in common than you think.
- Make & Take a Meal
1. Take a meal to a family during a hospitalization, a time of loss, transitions from one home to another, a job loss, job transitions, or even as a congratulations for a new job, a pregnancy announcement, or for a newlywed couple.
2. Make a crockpot meal and take it to the elders and/or deacons of your congregation when they have a scheduled meeting.
3. Take a meal to the preacher’s family, especially during an unexpected time. Most likely, your minister and his family are busy. They don’t work 9 to 5 jobs, they work and show up whenever someone needs them and often, it’s not just the minister who shows up but the entire family. Often they barely have time to breathe let alone make dinner and sit down as a family. Take them a meal as an appreciation for all the work they do.
4. Make a few single serve freezer meals to take to a widow or widower, so they can have an easy meal. Be sure to write heating instructions on the container so they know how to prepare the meal. One great way to do this is whenever you cook a family dinner before serving to your family portion out an extra single serving for freezing. When you have a dozen, go ahead and take.
5. Take a meal to a college student. I’m sure you know at least one, I’m also sure they always want a home cooked meal. Once you develop a nice relationship with them, invite them over for a meal or two.
- Offer to Drive
1. Teens or college students who need rides to 1st time or summer jobs often need transportation; you have a car, they need a ride, what an easy solution you can offer.
2. Elderly who need rides to doctors appointments.
3. Trips to or from the airport, consider: ministers, missionaries, or guest speakers, family members of your fellow Christians, out of town guests for funeral or weddings.
4. Work with your local women’s or homeless shelter offering rides to grocery stores or job interviews.
5. Offer elderly neighbors or members of your congregation a chance to go shopping, either grocery or to the mall.
(Obviously you should use good judgment concerning safety when offering rides.)
As you can see many of these ideas are simple, yet thoughtful. The key idea is to have a heart of love for others and to see beyond the limitations of ones home, finances, or circumstances and reach out to others to show them you care.
Be sure to read all of the Hospitality Series.
- Given to Hospitality
- Lifetime Responsibility for Hospitality
- What is at the Heart of Authentic Christian Hospitality?
Don’t Miss: Training up in Hospitality a post about training your children to be hospitable.