Culture of Hospitality could mean: Welcome + Friendliness + Warmth + Kindness + Generosity + Cordiality + Openness. The church welcomes all, is friendly, warm, kind, and generous in many different ways. It can be cordial and open to the possibilities of future relationships.
Reflect with me on a time when you went to visit another church, a gathered community, or an event where most of the folks knew one another but you did not know a soul. I have been there and felt lonely in a crowded room. I have shared with some small groups about experiences as a District Superintendent (DS) early in my tenure of visiting some churches and not feeling welcomed or acknowledged as a guest.
[Side note: Visitors visit, always in a non-predetermined time. A guest is one who you are preparing to receive during a specified moment…and so, you make that location a place to welcome with anticipation, with anxiousness for everything to be just-right, and have things in their place.]
The church is no different. We have made ourselves ready with anticipation. We have “vacuumed the floors.” The individual/family is looking to hear a word of hope, a handshake with a smile, and a familiar Christian welcome that makes all the difference. You can make a difference.
Good Folks, it is Friday, May 29, 2015. I am on my way to see my mom and family this weekend in Corpus Christi. Mom turns 88 years young tomorrow, and all her children will be present to celebrate this day with her. Plans are in place to have a celebration, with guests arriving and having a time of fun and fellowship. The place is being prepared for such an occasion.
I say this because every Sunday, we gather for such a celebration. We have prepared a place to welcome our guests. Hospitality is an important ministry of the church. Go up to someone you do not know and introduce yourself, before or after church. You just might realize that you could be a blessing that will last a lifetime. Be forewarned, someone might just come and welcome you to the church… Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone Glory)
Shalom + Paz + Pax + Peace,
…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…Matthew 25:35 (NRSV)