So, today is the day we get down into the nitty-gritty of showing hospitality. I have talked a little about what hospitality is, and what it is not, and on Wednesday, we looked at the people we are supposed to be showing hospitality to. Today, I want to give you a few ideas, and some quick and simple tips for showing hospitality to those in your sphere of influence.
1. Invite people over for a meal.
Yep. I told you, this wasn’t going to be rocket science. But, it has to start with an invite. So, text, call, face to face, FB…it really doesn’t matter. Just invite a couple, a single, a friend, a stranger or a family over for a meal.
- Find out if there are any dietary issues or allergies your guests might have.
- Make a simple, go-to meal or order something. Your time with your guests is what is important, not the perfection of the meal. So, don’t go over the top.
- If you have animals, find out if they are allergic. If so, consider taking them out for pizza or a quick meal instead.
- Think of people who might not have a place to go for holidays. Maybe their families are out of town, or they don’t really have family. Invite them over for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. Some sweet friends of ours always did this for us, since we didn’t live near our families. They ended up becoming our family in SC, and we are still so thankful for them. Those holidays are some of our favorite memories from our time there.
2. Open your home up to overnight guests.
When people are in town and need a place to stay, do your best to offer it. Often people don’t mind sleeping on couches or on the floor, so if you can make your home available, do so. Remember it isn’t about looking perfect or like you have it all together, it is about making others feel welcomed in your home.
- Provide towels, and small bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the room that they are staying in. (We save all of our hotel shampoos and things like that, to use for our guest room. Also…many of my friends are AMEN-ing right now…because I am notorious for never having a hand towel in the guest bathroom. I am now mildly reformed in this regard and try to always remember to stick one in there!)
- Give them some time to settle and unwind before gathering them to chat (unless they want to start that right away).
- Show them where things are so that they feel comfortable getting some water or a snack.
- Post the wifi password in the room they are staying in. I just saw a cute framed version of that somewhere on Pinterest.
3. Host your teen’s friends.
A simple game night or movie night will do. Teens are entertained easily, so usually these are pretty low maintenance. Our girls know that friends can always come over. They might get some mac and cheese for dinner, but they are always welcome. This not only shows hospitality but it helps us stay connected with our girls and their friends; making our home a center of activity!
- Provide some snacks (bags of chips, or boxed brownies) but have the teens bring some snacks as well.
- Sneak in on a game, or sit down and chat with your teen’s friends. Use this time to get to know the people they are spending time with.
4. Bring someone a meal.
Whether they have just had a baby, are sick, grieving or just going through a hard time, prepare or order them a tasty meal, to take something off of their plate. I am actually really bad at this, but it’s an area I am working on. I often forget, and lack the cooking skills necessary to really do this well. But, this is super helpful to people going through times of transition, so I try to at least order a pizza for them, or pick something up for them.
- Check for allergies.
- If you can’t make them something, grab a rotisserie chicken, or order them some takeout. Your goal is not to impress, but to meet a need of theirs.
- Sometimes people love having company over to chat when you drop off a meal, and sometimes they don’t. Be sensitive to the fact that they might just want to say a quick hello when you drop the meal off.
5. If you have the space, consider allowing someone to live with you.
Maybe you live in a college town and could house an out-of-town student. Maybe there is a single mom in need of some help, and you have the room. In the past, we have had two awesome young ladies live with us while they were raising support to go on staff with Cru. They lived with us rent free, and helped us with our girls during the week. This could also look like fostering children, or caring for those coming out of prison or rehab.
Obviously, this list could go on and on. For practical ideas on how to set up a guest room, set a table, or easy to carry meals…hop on over to Pinterest. But, remember that those things in and of themselves are not really the point. Our goal in showing hospitality, is to share God’s love with those around us. With hospitality, we are putting our guests and their needs at the center, not our own performance.
What are your favorite ways to show hospitality? What are some simple tricks or tips you might have?
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