Q&A: Hospitality at Home

Hospitality at Home

Home hospitality is always interesting when you are in the ministry because while our home is our safety zone, it is also a place in which we can minister to others outside the church in a special way. The following questions are not particularly spiritual in nature but the answers are interesting and many have some wisdom contained in them and even some humor too.

Q: Is it proper to ask people what they like or don’t like to eat before having them over to your home for a meal? I find myself asking this because I’d rather them enjoy the food.

  1. “We typically check for dislikes and allergies. My husband, for instance, does not like most cheeses, so we appreciate when others ask and we can avoid awkwardness at mealtime.” ~C.D. #1
  2. “My wife does so religiously. I think it shows a true spirit of hospitality.” ~J.O.
  3. “I usually ask if there’s something they’re allergic to or don’t like. Most people will eat whatever not to be rude (which is right to do unless there is an allergy), but it’s nice to ask so they enjoy the meal and are not running away to McDonald’s as fast as they get away from your house.” ~C.D. #2

Q: We are so busy on Sundays that I really dislike having company over after church for lunch or dinner… should I try to have people over anyway? or try another day of the week?

  1. “It would depend on the reason. Is it because she has small children who need her and it’s a hardship on her family, or because she’s selfish and wants a nap just because it’s Sunday? I think too often younger preacher’s wives with small kids are trying to keep up with the older pastors’ wives who are at a different season in life and can do more in the ministry. We tend to forget that our family is our first priority. And, I would also tell her to ask her husband what he wants her to do.” ~C.D. #2
  2. “I know how you feel. I feel that way too very often. Sundays are hard. We are tired, but when we begin to make excuses like this are we really “ministering” to people or just showing up to do our job? Ministry at its very basic definition calls for serving through sacrifice. Sometimes that means missing my Sunday afternoon nap. Now, I’m not saying that every week you must have someone over for Sunday lunch. But what about once a month? And if Sunday lunch is too hard, what about snacks after the evening service? Through the week is great too, but I do feel that hospitality on occasional Sundays naturally lends itself to much more in-depth spiritual conversation. And, our children learn from us. Do we want them seeing our dislike for Sunday company? It just takes prayer and planning, but it truly is worth it.” ~K.M.
  3. “Don’t be afraid to say no. We have a life just like others. If it does not conflict with your schedule – say okay, but if you are worn out, kids are worn, and your husband needs rest, say no. Choose another day during the week.” ~R.F.

Q: Do you like people to pop by your house unannounced? or do you like to have a little notice?

  1. “Notice for sure, at least half an hour.” ~G.G.
  2. “A little notice is always nice, but sometimes a surprise friend showing up is the best!” ~R.A.B.
  3. “It depends on who it is for me. I like a little notice, so I can make sure my house is presentable to company. They are always welcome regardless of what the house looks like.” ~A.M.
  4. “I love it when people drop in.” ~C.W.
  5. “Especially since we have had a break-in, I am very wary of people at the door when I am not expecting someone. I may even have the house alarm set, so a ten minute heads up is good with me.” ~A.F.
  6. ” I think, and this is just how I think, that when a friend drops by unexpectedly, that friend trusts that they will be welcomed, since the ‘polite’ thing to do is give notice. They know that no matter the state of your house or what you’re doing, you’ll welcome them in gladly. I’d be thrilled if a friend just popped by because in my mind, it demonstrates trust.” ~J.H.
  7. “Notice is awesome, but I try my best to be ready…. I would never want to miss an opportunity to help someone in the moment.” ~A.N.
  8. “We moved to a small town last year and I am getting used to people popping in all the time. In the city, people would usually call before coming by, but here, my neighbors, church folks, and multiple kids stop by throughout the week. At first, it was awkward, but now I love having company! I have learned not to worry so much about my house and just focus on the person visiting. Love small-town life!” ~T.O.P.
  9. “No! If someone shows up at my house unnoticed they may not like what they see! LOL!” ~L.G.

If you are interested in contributing a question for our ministry Q&A blog posts, please contact me through e-mail!

Once upon a time I wrote an article about how I react when I find out guests are coming. The Lord has taught me that while I get ready for guests, I still need to value and be respectful to my family. Read The House Guest Shuffle here.

Q&A: What Makes the Difference In Having Compassion in Ministry?

Ministry people all have their own experiences with enduring hardness and I specifically asked a group of people in and around ministry what factors they believed made the difference in having compassion. These answers come from a range of ages and places around the country.

Here is what they had to say!

I think one thing that makes a difference is if we are serving for God or serving for the people.” ~Pastor’s Wife in Vermont

I’ve seen those that get hardened usually have pride, they forget the grace given to them, they base their ‘service’ on results, or they themselves operate from a position of going through the motions. The service they render is no longer real to them and heart is far from the ministry at hand. Regarding the tender-hearted, they maintain a level of humility, they are thankful for the grace given by God and man, they never forget where they could be, and they walk with God, which keeps them tender and humble. As we draw closer to a loving God, we recognize the love we don’t deserve and are willing to share it because it was given so freely to us. As one person put it, salvation is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. It’s when we stop seeing ourselves that way that we start getting hardened.” ~Pastor in New Mexico

Always remember that even when people offend us; God has not changed; people offending us should never change our service to Him. I imagine it helps to focus your mind on those who still serve God as opposed to those who don’t.” ~Youth Pastor’s Wife in Maryland

Maybe it is judging versus forgiving. Knowing that we are all sinners and that another’s sin is no better or worse than our own. Just a different sin. We have a tendency to judge people harshly if their sin is different than ours. When we realize how wicked we are then, we can have a more forgiving attitude and loving spirit toward those we serve or those that serve us. Mom was a prime example of that. She had the most forgiving spirit I have ever known. It was almost like she didn’t even know they ever did anything wrong. She loved and she was loved!” ~Senior Saint that was a Pastor’s Kid

“Realizing that ‘… we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ (Ephesians 6:12) The devil loves it when believers are hard against each other, for then the gospel is hindered. Also, forgiving those who hurt us, and seeking forgiveness when we’ve hurt someone…because we will hurt people whether we mean to or not. Bottom line is just striving to be like Jesus, Who reviled not when He was reviled, and Who sacrificed Himself for us.” ~Pastor’s Wife in Michigan

“Forgiveness,Forgiveness,Forgiveness!!! So simply said, but hard to do at times!” ~Pastor’s Wife

Perspective…when we view people through God’s eyes, we see them much differently than when viewed through our sin marred eyes.” ~Sunday School Teacher in Oklahoma

Realize they are human and that they are probably hurting. I’ve been a pastor’s kid and preacher’s wife. Hard on both ends. Always do what Jesus would, with His heart and not your own.” ~Pastor’s Wife in New York

Taking some specific thoughts from the answers above, check your life and heart and think about whether you do these things.

  • Do I serve God instead of man?
  • Do I have humility instead of pride?
  • Do I have tenderness that comes from a thankful heart?
  • Do I recognize the love God has given to me and share it?
  • Do I focus on God who does not change, even when offenses come?
  • Do I see who I am as a sinner or focus on judging people because their sin is different?
  • Do I forgive over and over again?
  • Do I recognize the problems that come are likely a result of a spiritual battle?
  • Do I view people from God’s perspective or my own?
  • Do I love with God’s heart even when I do not feel like it?

A Few Thoughts From The Ministry Mama

These are very Biblical and pointed questions… for me some of the thoughts caused me to have to meditate on them for a while. I hope that although this is not a blog post centered around a specific verse or study like I usually do, you will take these questions into consideration.

I know I fall short… I am not God and cannot be Him or like Him all the time. I can only live within the  moment and honestly pray that I will make the right choice to be obedient. I am not always the type of person that demonstrates love and grace like I should or even as thankful as I even wish my own children to be. But I can make a conscious decision to ask God to show me when He wants me to be more compassionate when I serve my family and other people in this world.

Will we get it right every time? No. Will be blow it sometimes? Yes. Ask for forgiveness and move on… compassion is always centered around having a heart that yearns for people and is usually followed by a demonstration of mercy. If you will be aware and in tune with God, He will show you needs and give you the chance to be able to put your Biblical knowledge into practice.

I hope you enjoy this post. My hope is that I can do more Q&A posts in the future! If you have any questions that you would like answered please contact me and share them with me in an e-mail.