The Importance of Hospitality.


I’ve had this draft mocking me from my wordpress dashboard for weeks. (Months, actually)  Hospitality is one of my things. You know, that thing that’s simultaneously important to you and a pet peeve when others fail at it. So this week when Mr Hawaiian Shirt preached about hospitality and fellowship I was like, “Dude. Me = choir.”


Then I sent him an email because he still hasn’t accepted our dinner invitation. *cough*


Seriously though, opening my home to people is one of the few standards that I manage to set and keep for myself, it’s that important to me.  Even now I make a point to have someone over for dinner at least once a week. It would be so easy to want to take these gifts that God keeps sending through you guys and keep them to ourselves. To store them up in case even harder times are ahead.


But then I remember the imagery of the closed and opened fists – only one can accept more incoming blessings.


So, here are my top three reasons Christians should practice hospitality.


1. Deepening Friendships

You can’t truly get to know someone unless you have one-on-one time with them. Loitering after church or Sunday School is nice but if you want to truly learn someone’s story you have to separate them from the crowd and give them your full attention. Period.

Take it from someone who has to make new friendships every time she moves – it’s easy to never make a real friend. Especially if you already have a spouse who is your best friend. We’ve spent years traveling around the globe without any close friends because we didn’t put in the effort.


2. The Bible Says So

Seriously, it does. This is the part where I should give you some sort of concordance of proof but I’m too lazy. But hospitality is at the very heart of Christian community, I swear. Google it.

And, frankly, Christians should know that. We once joined a church and within a week or two had invited the pastor’s family over for dinner. They confided in us that in the 6 years they had been pastoring that church we were the first people who had ever invited them to our home. Christian fail, people. Christian. Fail.


3. Cleaning Motivation

Really now. Nothing inspires a more thorough and lightening fast house cleaning than putting the pressure of guests on your shoulders.  If I didn’t invite people over my house would never be clean. Ever. Because I just don’t care that much if me and mine are the only people that see the mess.

To keep this method working though you have to keep throwing new people into the line up once in awhile. Because there’s a distinct line where all friendships cross over into the comfort zone where you no longer care if they see the food crumbs under your dining table.  This is unacceptable and won’t help your attempts to not live in a pig-sty. Invite someone new.


So there you have it, the top three reasons you should absolutely be practicing hospitality – no excuses. This is one instance where I don’t want to hear any personality test results that prove you’re an introvert and need a special quiet cave for charging your humanity batteries. That’s fine, I respect that – but you can charge when company leaves.


As Christians there’s really no way to worm our way out of this one. I understand that everyone has different spiritual gifts and whatnot but we’re all called to fellowship and community – which involves hospitality. I’m not saying you have to be Martha Stewart (I mean really, do I come across like a Martha?) but anyone can at least throw a frozen pizza in the oven and engage in conversation for a couple of hours.


So do it! I challenge you. Or something. Have someone over for dinner this week. Deal?


Be honest, on a scale from 1 t0 10, where do you rank in the hospitality department?




  1. As far as ranking its importance, I’d definitely put it at a 10…but in terms of practice, maybe a 2 or 3. I have plenty of excuses, but doesn’t everyone? Thanks for the challenge and reminder!

    • I realize I’m a bit biased her because I have an inner extroverted hostess that lives within me – but really, I just love having people over (once a week).

  2. This is one of my favorite things to do – feed people. We strive to have someone over often, but have never set a specific time frame. Some months we have a family over every Sunday after church and some we had too much going on.

  3. Yes, hospitality is biblical, but what if you don’t like people? ;)

    But seriously, that’s an area I haven’t exactly nailed yet. Mostly because of my extreme borderline-schizoid introversion.

  4. I’m so bad at this. I used to be very free in invitations to my home but after a couple of visits from church people who complained about my “limited” seating and space and food spread and…I stopped inviting folks over. I started to feel very self-conscious about the fact that the hospitality I could offer was less than the hospitality they could offer (never mind that they never DID offer any). I got into this mindset of “someday we’ll have ENOUGH and THEN I can invite people over.” Ten years later we have a lot more than we used to but it still doesn’t feel like “enough.” I need to address this as the spiritual issue it is. Thanks for the encouragement to do so.

  5. Sally Roach says:

    My mother was definitely a 10 in the sphere of hospitality. Not only did my parents have people over for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they often had folks spend the night if they were going through a tough time and needed lots of prayer. I’m probably a 5. I don’t mind having people over for dinner, in fact my husband and I love to cook and love cooking for others. As for opening my home to and making beds for needy people, not so much. Still practicing!

  6. Ha. Um, scale of 1 to 10, can I be a negative? Lol. I would like having people over that I liked, like, say, you and yours. But generally we like to go to other peoples houses. Then we can make our escape and run home when we’ve had enough. (Or if we really like the people, we take our own air mattress and stay on into the night and eat cheese, or whatever. ;) You know.)

    I find that the longer we don’t have (local) friends, the easier it is to just stay hermits and not make friends. I just don’t have the energy to deal with those life force sucking friendships that take so. much. work. I’m not a friendship worker. Plus, you know, humans are required for friends…and we don’t like most humans. Heh.

    Some times I think we should look around for friends (put an ad in the paper? HA) because isn’t it “unhealthy” to be just us, all the time? Aren’t people supposed to be social and all that jazz? Healthy smealthy, I say.

  7. We’ve been feeding groups of college students each week, and I love it! And you are SO right about the cleaning thing. It’s definitely a motivator for me.

  8. Ummm…I think we’re at a negative 10 here. My husband spent 8 years working in a psych ward. Soooo needless to say the guy gets a teensy bit uneasy at having people in our house. It’s a “thing” we’re going through right now until he puts enough time and distance between himself and those experiences.

  9. hi! new commenter here — but the thing about thing about ”cleaning motivation” got me. Amen, sister. Don’t even know how many times I’ve thought ”man, this place is a mess — we need to have someone over.” Feeding people and hearing their stories are important to us as well, and I struggle to keep pushing our doors open despite living in a time and culture where it doesn’t seem to be so common. Thanks for the encouragement!


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