Inviting People to stay- Hosting or a Loyalty Card!
If we are not going to host our guests, I have an idea. We might try introducing a church loyalty-card scheme. This might include discount off occasional offices such as weddings, funeral and baptisms. Your card entitles you to two children dunked for the price of one. Show your card and you get seconds of apple pie at the harvest supper. You get priority access to the Worship Leader and discount of their next album. The card also allows you to have a season ticket for church on the back pew. Someone will also do your praying and mission work. But best of all you get to choose the hymns (but only on the fifth Sunday). To host costs something to the host, which is why hosts seem to be in short supply in the church. Many times we feel we are being hospitable when we invite our friends and family members over for a meal. True biblical hospitality requires more. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains gives the following definition for hospitality.
to receive and show hospitality to a stranger, that is, someone who is not regarded as a member of the extended family or a close friend — ‘to show hospitality, to receive a stranger as a guest, hospitality.’
As in every aspect of our service to God, we must have a proper attitude toward hospitality. It must be done in a kind, loving manner, but neither grudgingly nor done with a sense of duty or obligation. We should never grumble at the trouble or expense of showing hospitality toward others. Remember all that we have comes from God and we need to use our abundant resources and blessings to the glory of God, Matthew 6:25-34. So hosting or church loyalty-card scheme, you choose!