Not too long ago, a major Christian conference came to our city.
Guests were coming from all over the region to attend this multi-day event.
Members of our church offered their homes to host out of town guests, as an act of Christian love, that of hospitality.
Christian Hospitality is a larger topic than Church Hospitality, so I want to step out of the normal grove here at EvangelismCoach.org and look at this practice, particularly hosting Christian workers.
Hospitality is crucial for church leaders
The act of hospitality in general was so important to the church that Paul gives it as a criteria for a church’s leaders.
In the lists of 1 Timothy and Titus for elder criteria, Paul mentions hospitality.
- Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach (1 Timothy 3:2)
- Rather, he must be hospitable,one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. (Titus 1:8)
Hospitality Hosting: act of love for advancing the kingdom
When Jesus sends out workers in Matthew 10:9-16, they are to rely on Christian hospitality to accomplish their mission.
When they enter a town, they are to search for some worthy person and stay there.
Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. (Matthew 10:11-13, NIV)
In other passages he adds
- Do not move around, Luke 10.7
- When you enter the home, eat what is set before you. (Luke 10.8)
- If you are not welcomed, go somewhere else.
Christianity hospitality in this form, of hosting Christian workers, opens the doors for ministry. Jesus expects it.
We are to be that worthy person that Jesus speaks of. Our home will be blessed with peace (and it is).
For example, I once went to Chicago on study leave. I stayed with friends. Their offering of a place to stay saved my study leave budget nearly $500. They invested in me as a Christian worker. It was an act of service on their part, even though their home remodeling is incomplete, nor did they have any extra money to feed me.
When I give evangelism conferences that require travel, the organizer will often allow me to stay in their house as a guest, as an investment in the ministry.
Of course, there is some wisdom involved in how to host and how to accept being hosted. But that is a discussion for another day.
Biblical examples of hosting Christian workers
- Lydia offered Paul her home after her conversion (Acts 16.15)
- The Philippian jailer fed them (Acts 16.34)
- Paul stayed with Aquila in Corinth (Acts 18:1-11)
- Paul stayed at the home of Philip in Caesarea (Acts 21:8)
- Paul stayed with Mnason, from Cyprus on his travels (Acts 21.16)
- Paul stayed with Publius on the island of Malta (Acts 28.7)
- Paul stayed with Gauis when he wrote Romans from Corinth at the end of his third missionary journey (Romans 16:23).
- Peter stayed in the home of Simon the tanner (Acts 10.32)
- Letters of 2 John and 3 John are concerned with this hospitality
- What are some of the joys you have experienced in hosting a travelling Christian worker or guest?
- What are some of the joys you’ve had in being hosted in your journeys?
Order a Hospitality Training from me
Your hospitality ministry can order a personal training from me. It is a virtual seminar I offer that is travel-free.
You can offer it on any night or day that you choose.
I’ve even had a request on a Thursday for an event on Saturday morning.
Read more about how to get your own church hospitality team training seminar from me.