Note: Today’s post comes from EvanTell Board Member Julie Parton and is adapted from her speaking notes from EvanTell’s recent Inspire Luncheon.
Does hospitality mean different thing to different generations or age groups? I recently asked some twenty-somethings, recent college graduates, how they would define hospitality within a Christian context.
One said he thought of “opening up your home to people and serving food, drink, and great conversations. I also think of putting the guest before the host!”
Another replied, “I think of servanthood as Christlike, spreading the Gospel through words and actions. Not even so much through words but more through actions.”
Wow, that really expands our typical understanding of the concept. In those terms, it could include us going to “them,” sort of like the lead couple in the recently released movie Same Kind of Different as Me.
What are some practical ways we can equip and prepare ourselves to use hospitality (as defined more broadly) as a tool for sharing the gospel?
First, get some training so you know what to say, and how to say it, when the opportunity arises. Go to Evantell’s website and avail yourself of the free online training. Emily Foreman, the speaker at our recent Ladies Luncheon, tells of Muslim friends in North Africa who said they’d never before heard a white person speak of their faith. Could they have been referring to you?
Second, pray that the Lord will open your eyes to the people and opportunities in YOUR world where you can use hospitality—taking them somewhere, asking them to join you on a family outing, as well as perhaps coming to a gathering at your home. Be creative! And even more, be INTENTIONAL.
Third, consider supporting a ministry like Evantell that is all about multiplication—not just leading people to Christ (important as that is), but also equipping others to know how to do the same.
Maybe, as my twenty-something friend said, the heart of hospitality is in reality serving others like Christ did.