Setting Goals Is Part of Hospitality

If you plan to accomplish anything in this lifetime, you must have some goals and plans or nothing will get done.

Goals can be for personal development, marriage, or  family.  Have you ever considered making goals for hospitality and outreach?

This week look around at the people in your churches.  You do not have to look very far to find fainthearted and discouraged people.

The Bible says in Philippians 2:4 says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man on the things of others.”  Many times we are so busy with life that we fail to reach out and encourage others.

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our day…If we are going to make our lives count for eternity, we must set goals and daily plans. Here are a few ideas you might consider when setting your goals and daily plans.

1.  It is helpful to keep an organizer or a weekly “To Do” list.

2.  Keep a master calendar for family members. Place church activities, doctor, dentist, and all appointments on it.

3.  Try to plan three months in advance and be sure to block out some time for entertaining and hospitality.

Remember your real goal in hospitality is to encourage and to show Christ’s love to others. You do not have to be a Martha Stewart or Emily Post to be able to minister.

My husband and I have friends who live in Pennsylvania.  My friend is a wonderful hostess.  Years ago, she shared this piece of advice with me. She said, “I always plan a monthly dinner for twelve people. If I am going to prepare a nice meal, it is just as easy to do it for more people”.  She and her husband have a Sunday school class of 100 people. Her goal is to encourage this class through the ministry of hospitality. She knows that in this Sunday school class there are people who are discouraged and many of them are ready to “give up” just because of the stresses and pressures of life.

As you begin a new year, set some goals to be a blessing to those in need of encouragement.



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Why Don’t You Entertain?

Lack of organization is probably the greatest reason most people do not entertain or practice hospitality. Emerson said, “Disorganized people are the most thoughtful people in the world, but usually all they do is think.” Most of the time disorganized people have the best personalities, and they could be the greatest encouragement to the discouraged, but because of their lack of organization, they can’t seem to get things together to practice hospitality.

Many times women feel that they cannot invite people into their homes until every room is spotless. This is a big mistake. If you want to minister to others, you cannot worry about every area of your home being a showplace. There is an old Shaker motto that says, “Kindly welcome.” What a great motto for us to use!

When we were living in Rhode Island, a group of students from the  senior class of our Christian school hired a limo for the evening. We all went out to dinner at a nice restaurant. After the meal, the teens had a few hours before they had to go home. Since they wanted to stay together, I invited them to our home. If I had said, “Oh, my house it not clean enough” those teens would have missed out on a great evening together and a great memory.

Suppose a couple is transferred to your area, and they are searching for a new church. They will be searching for a church that is warm and friendly like the church that  they just left.  They visit on Sunday. The greeter hands them a bulletin, and he welcomes them to church by shaking their hands. No one offers them a dinner invitation or any other personal welcome. What happens? They leave the church and decide, “This is not a warm or friendly church”.  You say, “Well, it’s their own fault. If  they had been more friendly with everyone, the people would have been more friendly to them”.  Think about it! These people had lived all of their lives in a certain city. Their company moved them to a new location. Here they are in a new church and new surroundings. They just left  a church where they felt very comfortable and loved. This couple is coming into your church looking for love and acceptance. Not only does this couple need to find friendlinss at church, but they need to find  friendship outside the services of the church.

One thing that  I appreciated about the churches in Great Britain was the tea time. I didn’t understand it a first, but after every service, the church would have tea time with coffee, tea, and cookies. It was a time of fellowship to get to know the visitors. I asked one missionary why do you do this?  He then explained to me that most of our visitors have no idea about the invitation time.  The missionary continues to give invitations and tries to explain its purpose,  but he told me that the members have been able to lead many people to the Lord during this time of fellowship.

Remember the ministry of  hospitality meets the needs of the visitor.  Hospitality means loving strangers.


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Outdoors Entertaining

  • Create table runners with leftover wallpaper, wrapping paper, or cheap fabric.
  • Windproof the tables by weighing down paper plates and napkins with different painted rocks or sea shells. You can wrap plastic utensils with ribbon, yarn, or even rubber bands and place them in a basket.
  • Buy small craft magnets and place them around the bottom of the tablecloth. Attach the magnets by aligning them together (front and back of tablecloth).  This is the same concept as using weighters on baptismal robes to hold robes down in the water. The magnets connect together to produce weights around the bottom of the tablecloth.
  • If you need a quick centerpiece, use fresh fruit with herbs or flowers placed here and there.
  • Set up a beverage area. Have sodas, waters, and juices on ice in galvanized tubs on a table. Glasses can also be placed on the table with a small clean ice chest full of ice. Be sure to put an ice scooper near it.
  • For an afternoon or evening gathering , set up a convenience basket for your guests. Your basket could include: bug spray, sunscreen, hand sanitizers, wipes, disposable diapers, or paper towels.
  • Freeze mint leaves, pieces of lemons or oranges, or strawberries in ice cubes. Add them to punch, lemonade, or water.
  • To provide lighting for an evening party, light citronella candles and torches. This not only repels the insects, but it also give nice lights for food and drink tables.
  • Using luminaries is another way to create atmosphere for outside entertaining. Luminaries can line walkways or driveways or placed on porches for special effects.  A luminary can be made by placing a votive candle in a jar filled a quarter of the way with cat litter.  Place  jars  in paper bags and position bags along pathways or on porches. Light luminaries just before guests arrive.
  • For outside entertaining, use candle sconces and candle chandeliers. (Check yard sales for old electric chandelier; cut cords off, place candles in sockets, and hang it on tree.)
  • For a dramatic look on outside patios, fences, and trees, string tiny Christmas lights.
  • Check out solar outdoor lighting on the internet. There are many new options for outdoor lighting.
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Through this blog, I will suggest ways to make your entertaining experiences less complicated and stressful. In addition to these suggestions, I will also offer counseling tips and ministry pointers for women in ministry.

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