By Tabitha Beam
1. WHAT is Hospitality?
Definition: “Hospitality is using what God has given to us to demonstrate (show) His love for others.”
2. WHY show Hospitality? God commands hospitality, and we must obey.
- Jesus said, “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)
- “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted…” (Ephesians 4:32a)
- “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
- “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34) Love others the way God loves us.
- “Distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)
- “Use hospitality (fond of guests) one to another without grudging (complaining).” (1 Peter 4:9
DO IT FOR JESUS! “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred,
and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or
thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed
thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and
say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these
my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)
We can’t see God in a body now. But when we show love and hospitality with right desires to
other people, we also do it for God.
The Story of the Good Samaritan: The priest and Levite refused to show hospitality to the wounded
man. But the Samaritan showed hospitality by taking care of him and giving him a place to stay.
Wrong Motives (desires) for Hospitality:
- Self-pity – “I’m lonely. I want to invite people so they can encourage me.”
- Popularity – “I want people to like me.”
- Pride – “I want people to see my nice house and know that I am a good cook.”
Right Motives (desires) for Hospitality:
- Honor God
- Make new friends
- Love other people
Why show hospitality? To honor God and show His love to other people.
3. WHERE Show Hospitality? Everywhere!
- At stores and businesses
- At a friend’s house
- On the road
4. Hospitality for WHO? Everyone! Some Ideas:
- Family – don’t forget your family!
- Strangers – be careful and wise, but make new friends
- First-time visitors at church
- New members
- Single or first-time moms – offer to babysit
- Shut-ins – people who are stuck at home
- Unsaved people – love them and maybe God will give opportunities to witness
- “Enemies” – Jesus commanded us to love our enemies
5. HOW show Hospitality? Two Examples – One bad, one good:
Wrong – Jesus’ friend Martha
- Martha was doing a good thing by cooking and cleaning. But she stopped focusing on Jesus
and began to focus on all the work. Then she complained to Jesus because she was
overwhelmed and wanted her sister to help! Be careful to remember the reason for
hospitality! The work is not the point. The purpose is to honor God and to show love and
encouragement to others.
Right – Woman in Simon’s house (Luke 7:36-50)
- Simon invited Jesus to his house. In Bible times, people wore sandals, and their feet would
become dirty. When someone came into the house, tradition was to give them water to wash
their feet and oil for their head. They greeted others with a kiss. Simon did nothing of this for
Jesus. It was his home, but he did not show good hospitality! A woman came in. Other
people avoided her and thought she was a wicked sinner. But she anointed Jesus’ feet with
perfume and washed them with her tears and hair. It was not her home, but she showed
hospitality, humility, and love.
Maybe you think, “I’m Deaf! I don’t have many Deaf friends and it is hard to communicate with hearing
people.” Think creatively! You can smile and shake hands. If you attend a hearing church, make
cards that say something like “I am Deaf, but I want you to know: Welcome to our church! I hope you
enjoy your visit.” Become a greeter and give them to visitors. If you attend a Deaf church or Deaf
ministry, look for people sitting alone and ask to join them. If you have a special skill, use it for
God and others. It might be sewing, crafting, decorating, painting, cooking, or organizing. All of these
things can be used to show hospitality. Ask God to show you how to show hospitality
What is required to show hospitality?
- A desire to bless/encourage people
- A desire to honor God
Sometimes hospitality is easy and fun! Other times, it requires sacrifice. (Story of two Chinese
Christians in prison)
“Chinese prisons are…dirty, humid, cold and full of insects… But the dirty cells are the setting for
episodes of heavenly beauty: Two Christians trembled from cold in a cell. Each had a thin blanket. One
of the Christians noticed how the other trembled, and the thought shot into his mind, ‘If that were
Christ, would you give him your blanket?’ Of course he would. He immediately spread the blanket
over his brother.” (If that were Christ, would you give Him your blanket? By Richard Wurmbrand)
If Jesus came to visit you, what would you do for Him? Do that for other people
If Jesus came to visit you, what would you do for Him? Do that for other people.
Practical Ways to Show Hospitality
- Make sure your home is clean and neat.
- Set a basket in the bathroom with things guests might need.
- Set extra blankets on or near the bed.
- Set out a basket of snacks or fruit for guests.
- Make sure drinks (water, soda, coffee, tea, cream, sugar) are easily available for guests.
- Host a game night or Christian movie night.
- Have coloring books, toys, games, or books for children.
- Fold the toilet paper roll to a point. Sometimes small things give an extra-special touch.
- Learn how to fold towel animals
- Take breakfast to Sunday School class (if allowed).
- Look for someone who is alone and sit with them or invite them to join you.
- Become a greeter at church. If you attend a hearing church, write or type cards that you
can give to visitors at church as: “I am Deaf but I want to tell you: Welcome to our church!
We hope you enjoy your visit. Please come again!”
Outside of Home:
- Visit someone in the hospital. Be positive – encourage them in the Lord.
- Visit shut-ins. (Ask first!)
- Prepare and take a meal to someone.
- Invite someone to a restaurant for a meal or coffee/tea.
- Bring a snack for your co-workers.
- Buy fun office supplies (paper, pen, sticky notes, etc.) and leave on a coworker’s desk.
- Offer to babysit for a mom.
- Invite someone to hike or walk in the park.
- Donate to or volunteer at a Rescue Mission or Homeless Shelter.
- Drive someone to run an errand.
Hospitality by Mail or Technology:
- Send a card.
- Send a gift or care package to a college student.
- Send a text or email to let someone know you are praying for them.
- Give/send a “sunshine box” – a box filled with cheerful yellow things. Be creative!
- Listen to other people. Ask about their family, their lives. Don’t just talk about yourself.