Hospitality

Jonathan and I just listened to a recording of the message delivered this Sunday by my old friend, who is now the pastor of my home church from childhood. The kind of hospitality and life-giving relationships that Ben (Pastor Ben? Pastor Brooks? How do I address him now? I literally grew up with him! He’s always been Ben to me!) spoke about really got to my heart.

Ben told the (fictional) story of a couple who joined the church, then joined a “Kingdom-Life Group”. The Kingdom-Life Group was a close-knit, fully-invested group of families who were “all up in each other’s business” in a good way. They all had a huge heart for the Lord and were keenly interested in living the way the apostles and believers did in Acts. They met frequently to break bread, pray, hold each other accountable, study the Word, and worship. But they decided to take it a step further. They were intentional about hospitality and missions. They wanted to get out into their neighborhood and win others for Christ. And they did. They hosted parties, they prayed, they went on walks with the intention of meeting specific neighbors. They were warm, inviting, caring, and, well, weird. Weird in a good way. People knew them, they knew their message, and even if they didn’t believe in the same things, they wanted to have a part in what was happening with those “Christians.”

Jonathan and I got so excited about that idea… but then we realized we’re kind of a long way from that kind of thing. Which was discouraging.

We’ve moved a lot since we were married. And then we made a lot of excuses. So, no, we really have no church that we call “home”. We don’t know many other young families who love Jesus and who are teaching their children to do the same. Heck, we haven’t even had either of our children dedicated yet. Yes, it is terribly sad. Yes, we have totally dropped the ball. Yes, we are heartbroken over the fact that we got so lazy.

So now we’ve got to be crazy-intentional. We ARE going to be attending church, starting this Sunday. First Advent Sunday of the season. Seems appropriate. We ARE going to step out of our comfort zones (including being nervous about missing naps, etc.) to stay at church and meet some new people each time. We ARE going to find out how we can host a small group in our own home (is that selfish? I just figured we can’t really afford a babysitter, and it would be easy to put the kids to bed by 6:45 and then have the group arrive at 7). We ARE going to raise our children in a church, in a community, and hopefully, if all goes well, in a Kingdom-Life Group of our very own.

So I guess we’re going to be taking all the right steps… just maybe a bit out of order. ‘Cuz the first thing we’re going to do is open up our home and practice some good old-fashioned hospitality. Starting December 15.

This morning I woke up with a hare-brained idea. I said, “Hey, would it be okay if I decided to invite some of our friends from Storytime over for a Christmas party this month?” It kind of blew up from there. Now we’re hosting a Christmas Cookie Decorating and Reindeer Games Party. And we’re expecting at least 10 families.   In our teensy weensy little home. That is half-filled with Goliath’s Christmas tree. Wahoo!

The whole point of this get-together, for me at least, is to get to know the names of the moms I see week to week. Huh? Yeah. I know that she’s Gracie’s Mom, and she’s Adam’s Mom. But I don’t know their real names. I don’t know anything about them. In fact, just by handing out the invitations, I learned that one mom’s husband works on the railroads in Minnesota, so she’s alone with her little girl day in and day out. I am betting that mom could use a little friendship. I would never have known. (Ironically, I have yet to learn her name. Whoops.)

I kind of want to establish a gathering place. My home is never spotless. My home is rarely even tidy. I can’t cook very well. My husband will have to be home if you want coffee, because I don’t know how to make it. But I can heat up water and soak a tea bag. And my couch, albeit old, is cozy. And the living room smells like Christmas. So yeah, I can handle this. In fact, I’m craving it. Give me a reason to keep things tidy! Give me a reason to try a new recipe (but give me grace when it’s a disaster!)! I can’t wait to welcome folks into our home. I hope one day my children will feel strange when we don’t have someone new in our home for a week. I just want to create a space that is welcoming, comforting, and serene. I want people to feel loved, served, honored, and relaxed when they enter our home.

Yee-haw. I just found my mission. 🙂

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13 Comments

  1. kristypowers said,

    November 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    This is exciting. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. Someday we will be the “new” people in your home. 🙂

    • November 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      I can’t wait for that to happen. I hope I’m not already a good cook by then! In fact, I hope it happens before I learn to make coffee. 🙂

      • kristypowers said,

        November 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        Haha, I will make something. 🙂

      • November 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        I always read about what you’ve made and thought to myself, “Yeah, THAT will never happen!” Maybe when we live close to each other you can give me lessons. “Lessons in Momhood, by Kristy”

      • kristypowers said,

        November 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

        Lessons in baking, maybe. Lessons in Momhood…I need those lessons just as much from you. 🙂

  2. Jaclyn said,

    November 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Love this. I am learning a lot of the same things right now. I was actually just talking to Jonathon about how nervous I am about the bible study I’m doing at our house next year! Excited to see how this plays out for you!

    • November 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks! I would love to hear how yours goes, too. What will you do with P and L during that time? (Haha, I can totally picture myself saying something like, “Go into roomtime now, kids, I got Jesus coming over!”)

      • Jaclyn said,

        December 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        It will probably be after bedtime… assuming Luke EVER starts going to sleep at bedtime! They go down at 7 and I’ll probably have the bible study at 730… It’s college girls so they don’t mind starting late. I still haven’t worked it all out though.

      • December 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

        Jealous. Jonathan and I want to move to a university somewhere. We miss being around college folks a lot!

  3. Chelsea said,

    November 30, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I love this post and I love you!!!

  4. December 4, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    […] remember this post, where I talked about Jonathan’s and my excitement about hospitality and church attendance […]

  5. January 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    […] on December 15, we hosted a party for toddlers. It was actually a covert ploy to get to know several of the moms with toddlers in the area. We sent our guests on their way with […]


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