Do you remember the days of Sunday afternoon covered dish potluck meals? Or when going to church was a week-long event! You attended Sunday school, Sunday service, Sunday night church, Wednesday night church, and more!
Most of us don’t have the space in our lives for that much church anymore but we all still are in desperate need of the community. Our sense of community and belonging only grows when we rub shoulders with others on a regular basis. God literally made us for relationships. The first thing in the Bible that God said was not good in all of creation was the fact that Adam was alone! He knew Adam needed companions, friends, and partners for life. The same is true for every human ever created. We need each other.
Sadly, we are all living through a time in history where distance is encouraged. During these trying times, It’s easy to forget that one way to protect each other is through closeness. Loneliness, isolation, and fear wreak havoc on our emotional and physical well-being. We should not be reckless in our interactions, but we must not leave each other alone for too long! Isolation makes space for the enemy to steal so much from our lives.
Now is the time to revive the ministry of hospitality! This does not mean we have to bring back to the 90’s style of church potluck, the same way that Target has embraced the 90’s style in their new clothing line, but it does mean that we need to start making more space to love on others that are in our lives. People need people! This is a fact that will never change. Here are a few ways to show hospitality to others:
1. Cook a Homemade Meal to Share
I know you are going to immediately think of all the reasons cooking and hosting is not for you! Pinterest has totally ruined our idea of what hosting a dinner party should look like.
My husband and I have lived in apartments, old houses, newer houses, tiny houses, and now an average house… I am happy to report that friends have come to dine in each and every one! The imperfect layout of our rooms or lack of square footage had nothing to do with our ability to build community within the walls of the home God had blessed us in at each stage of our lives. Being faithful to love others with the resources God is given is all that is required. Perfection is not at all necessary to show amazing hospitality to others.
2. Organize a Meetup
If cooking and hosting are not your things, then do a little planning and invite others to meet up for an activity! Pick something that brings you joy and takes an extra moment to think of one person who would enjoy doing it with you. Invite them to be a part of your fun!
How many of us are just waiting for the invitation? Wishing we were the ones with closer friends and more ways to destress at the end of our weeks? Guess what you are not alone! Basically, everyone else is also waiting for the invite, so be brave and take the first step towards community by initiating.
3. Start a Bible Study
One quick way to get a group onto common ground is through the Bible! People from different backgrounds can unify through the power of the Holy Spirit that becomes more evident when we study God’s book together. Connection and growth happen when we spend time in God’s Word as a community.
Think of people that you spend time with in your daily life and invite them to take time out of their schedule to read the Bible together. This can be co-workers, neighbors, Mom friends, family, fellow parents at your child’s school, or people from church. Throw in some free coffee and treats and people will feel so loved and excited to connect with you in this way.
Remember, 1 Peter charges us to joyfully open our homes and lives up to others. These words should encourage us to take time to step a little out of our comfort zones in an effort to be a place where other people can find God’s love. We were made to live in close proximity with each other, so that we can be encouraged when we desperately need it.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.