How do you acquire a welcoming and hospitable heart? Like anything, you need to practice it. You need to be intentional. Come up with a game plan, a context for reaching out, a purpose behind what you do. Here are a few brief thoughts on practicing hospitality:
1. Pray that those who come to your home will experience the presence of Christ
Since I was a young teenager, my mom told me that when she walked into my room, it was like a sanctuary. That has inspired me ever since, to create a dwelling place where Christ would be glorified. When people come to visit, I often pray that God will bless our conversation and that those who come will feel encouraged. And when I go to visit others, I also pray for God’s blessing on our conversation. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I want my home to be a place of ministry & grace. I want people to know we are serious about the redeeming work of God in our lives and in the lives of others and how that can impact the community and the world!
Ask questions, find out where people are at, and then listen to them. Find points of commenality, words of encouragement and moments to stop and pray. I think we need to practice more spontaneous prayer and not just say, “I’ll be praying for you.” If you say that, then stop where you are and say… “right now, let’s pray!”
3. Intentionally reach out
When you look at your own heart, do you find an attitude of welcoming others into your life or do you find that you are reluctant? Most change doesn’t happen overnight. It requires days, weeks, months and years of God’s craftsmanship to mold a human into what He wants that human to be. Today, why not open your heart to someone else, reach out to another person you normally wouldn’t reach out to and see how God works. You’ll be amazed at how many lives God may want to touch through your hospitality, your welcoming and hospitable heart.
4. Your home is for the Gospel
Creating a home that says “welcome” is not primarily for yourself. It is for the work of Christ, the gospel work of sharing Christ with others. Its not always easy to shift our North American consumer-driven focus away from ourselves and onto others. But let’s pray today that God will continue to mold us and recreate us into the image of His Son who welcomed everyone.