hospitality sign

An Everyday Missionary – Hospitality

The Importance of Hospitality

The Bible talks a lot about hospitality! I knew it was important, but I didn’t know just how much importance the Bible places on it. But what does hospitality have to do with being an everyday missionary? Everything! Hospitality is, first of all, a very everyday thing! But it is also something with enormous potential to show God’s love to so many people.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 NIV)

I stayed with one family for a few months while my family was in the middle of a move. They graciously welcomed my whole family into their house for an indefinite time, however long we needed, they said. It ended up being months that we doubled the number of inhabitants of their house. They made not one complaint, but rather joyfully shared with us all things. And we were not the only ones. Anyone was welcome whenever. A regular partaker of dinner was a single neighbor. And kids were in and out all the time! Without hesitation, they were constantly welcoming people in.

And honestly, though I long for a home like that, I don’t think I could do it the same way they do. God knows each of us, and knows what he has created us for. Maybe instead of opening our home to the world, He has for you to go out into it and preach. I think I would say that there are different levels of hospitality, but ultimately obedience to what God has called you to do should be the deciding factor. And I do know that He has commanded us to be hospitable.

Hebrews 13:2 (NIV) says, Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Like Abraham in Genesis 18-19. Plus Mary and Martha, Zacheus, and others had Jesus himself in their house, that they showed hospitality. Colossians 3:23-25 says, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

Think of it this way. We were recently on a car trip, and we stopped off a a cute little store to use the bathroom and stretch our legs. The shop owners greeted as and soon turned our attention to a picture on the wall. “Do you know who that is?” they asked, pointed at the person in the middle of the group of people in the picture. It took us a minute, so they helped us out, “It’s the actor Shia Labeouf.” Ahhh. He had been hitchhiking incognito for a project and stopped at this shop for a break from the road just like us. I’m sure that the shop owners made sure to be very hospitable to him. Wouldn’t you, if say, your favorite singer, actor, or writer stopped at your shop? Probably. But would you treat everyone that way? What if your brother came in all filthy and muddy and loud, scaring away all your customers… what then? We probably wouldn’t be as hospitable to them as we would our favorite celebrity- even if they were muddy and loud.

Remember then, the impact that you can make with hospitality. When you invite them in. When you be the family they don’t have, give them a place to come to find refreshment and peace, when they don’t have that anywhere else. When you are polite and socially practiced in a rude and socially ignorant world. Whatever we do for others, we do for God.


A Note to the guys: Hospitality may seem like a specifically feminine trait, however I don’t think it is as much as it may seem. Yes, it is very important for girls and women to be hospitable (Proverbs 31:27), but personally some of the most welcoming and hospitable people who I have met have been guys. And it is also very noticeable when it is they who are the hospitable ones (not to undermine the importance of hospitality for everyone). Just look at the scriptural examples of people who demonstrated hospitality: Abraham, Zacheus…. 😉

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