Christianity 201

April 25, 2013

The Ministry of Receiving Hospitality

welcomeYears ago I worked with a woman who, if asked, would say that as Christ-followers we should be the ones to offer hospitality, not the ones to receive it. She wanted to always be the host, not the guest. I recognized this instantly because a couple of decades earlier, I learned the hard way that I had a problem accepting hospitality. So I argued strongly that there is nothing wrong with being in need; it can provide a context for us to get to know people we might not otherwise connect with.

Today we introduce a writer who I suspect will be featured here somewhat regularly.  Chris Lenshyn blogs at Anabapistly and regularly includes in his own blog material from some of my favorite writers and speakers.  I encourage you to look around his site as ou click on this article which appeared originally as Peace to This House: A Theology of Guest.

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’  If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.  Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.Luke 10:5-7

Much is said about Christians offering hospitality. The call is very strong for Christians to be wonderful hosts to all people, no matter skin color, gender, age, socio-economic background, etc…

The reality of a post Christian world is such that the vast majority of people do not know the message of Jesus.  The Jesus story is not common place.  People walk by churches not knowing what the cross symbolizes.  This amplifies the need for hospitality to be foundational in Christian practice.

If Christians dare to venture into the post Christendom landscape, they WILL very well find themselves depending on the hospitality of those who do not have any connection to the Christian faith.

The early church depended on hospitality of others. When Jesus sends out the 72 in Luke 10, they become dependent on the hospitality of people in the towns which they visited.

The missional practitioner within a Post Christian context needs to know how to accept hospitality from others.  The missional practitioner needs to hold and embody a deep understanding of guest.

The implications are far reaching. A theology of guest means we respect ‘the other.’  It means we find comfort in the homes of other people.  It means we pay attention to, and partner with organizations that may not be Christian.  It means we bring ‘peace to’ the house in which we find ourselves.  We enter into the place of ‘the other’ embodying a message, representing a tribe of Jesus followers, a tribe of peace.  A theology of guest assumes that people, even non-Christians (sarcastic “GHASP”) have something to offer.

A post Christendom missionary will find him or herself depending on, and needing to accept gracefully, hospitality from ‘the other.’

Where do you find yourself accepting hospitality from others?  What differences do you find between hospitality from non-Christians (I hate that term, any other suggestions?) and Christians?


Today’s bonus item:

A 2-minute audio clip from Pete Wilson on people who leave his church or arrive at Cross Point from somewhere else because they say they’re “not getting fed.”

2 Comments »

  1. I’m still learning how to be a good host- requiring I pray more, and give my guests the best of me…Still learning though…Nice article.

    Comment by Zellie M. Quinn — April 25, 2013 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for stopping by! Good to connect!

    Comment by Chris Lenshyn — April 26, 2013 @ 3:42 am | Reply


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