September 16-22, 2012
This week I am bringing the challenge closer to home…literally. Let’s practice some good old-fashioned hospitality. Invite someone who doesn’t normally come over to your home, for a meal or just some coffee. In the Muslim world, sharing a meal together is a true sign of friendship. I believe that we have the same unspoken belief here in America as well. This may be the first time you will have interacted with this person outside of work or school or yelling “hi!” to them as they mow their lawn. You might know their name(s), where they work and other basic facts about their lives, but do you really know them? Do they really know you? Could they or would they call you if they were in trouble?
Some things to consider while hosting
- Don’t make it too fancy. Fancy=formal. Formal=not what you would do with family. Make it feel natural and relaxed. I have nothing against really good food. In fact, I really like really good food. The point is, don’t make the person feel uncomfortable by trying to impress them.
- Don’t get a baby-sitter. Include your children in the experience. One of the most powerful ways we can show the love of God to others is allowing them to see our families in action. Don’t worry about impressing them, just be real…dirty diapers and all.
- Stay engaged. The point is to build relationships, so stay engaged in the conversations. Ask good questions and listen to the answers, then after they leave write down what you learned about them so you don’t forget.
- If all goes well, plan for the next get together.
Remember that time spent building relationships is not wasted time. Real relationships naturally progress on a journey with ups and downs and honesty which leads to discussing truth. You won’t always get to a truth discussion in one visit. Give it some time. Relationships are messy, time-consuming, difficult, dramatic and stressful yes, but they are the way of discipleship. Open your home and your heart to someone this week and then tell us what happens. Post comments below.
Walk in Love My Friends,
PS. I want to give a shout out to all my Azeri friends. Thank you for showing Noelle and I what true hospitality is!