Sharing Christ with our neighbors can be something that’s done over time, as our relationships grow with them. By God’s grace we can pursue deeper and deeper intimacy with our nearby friends. The Holy Spirit can provoke us with a genuine love for them and a desire for them to know Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
This past weekend we hosted the easiest party ever: s’mores on the driveway with our neighbors. If you’ve been wanting to find a way to connect with your neighbors, but you’re not sure about dealing with the cost and work needed for having people come inside your home—then this is the event for you. All that’s required is buying a package of marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, getting some long sticks, and starting a fire. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to clean up. We printed invitations a couple weeks ago and my girls took them to every house on the block, plus the cul-de-sac across the street, and boom! Done.
It was so low stress and netted a great pay-off with long conversations with our neighbors around the campfire. I even overheard some of the dads commenting to one another, “We need to do this more often. This is fun.”
You Know You Should Do It, But Calling It A ‘Practice’ Seems A Bit Much
You likely already know that hospitality is a Biblical mandate. You probably already know that Paul says, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13). Peter says to do so without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9). Hospitality is of such importance that church elders “must be hospitable” (Titus 1:8).
We know we’re called to do it, but we have myriad hesitations.
We think our house isn’t big enough, our kids are too crazy, we don’t know how to cook, people don’t do that anymore; it’s weird, they’ll think we’re selling something. Or maybe we think it sounds too simple. We’re looking for a professional way of doing hospitality; for the latest three-point strategy to love our neighbors and get them saved.
Or maybe you’re overwhelmed by some of the more recent books and articles on hospitality. It feels like a burden—just too much work in your already-full life. Maybe your house already feels like chaos and adding just one more person will be the straw the breaks the camel’s back. I understand. I’ve absolutely been there.
I want to encourage you to let go of the heavy expectations that you think are placed on you by others, or you have perhaps placed on yourself. You can craft hospitality in your own unique way—even in a way that is life-giving to you.
What can you do? What sounds fun? What sounds possible in this season? Do that. Don’t worry about mimicking anyone else. Assess the resources God has given you: time, emotional bandwidth, finances, your spouse, your kids, your yard, your table. How can you use these things in a way that won’t fry you for days and will be a blessing to others?