We spent a lot of time this holiday season hosting people in our home for various gatherings and events. Usually when we do this my main focus is on getting everything clean or preparing the food just right or planning the details of the activities that we will do together. When the guests finally arrive, I have spent so much energy on the details that I don’t have much left to be fully present and engaged with what is going on in the moment.
January is a natural time of the year to look at your ministry calendar and think about what events you have coming up. You may have an Easter Outreach event in the near future or Vacation Bible School in the summer, or some other function where people from your community will visit your campus. As I looked ahead to the events we have planned this year, it occurred to me that not only am I a host when people come to visit my personal home, but I am a host when people come to visit my church home as well. We don’t always think about it this way but churches host people at least once a week – probably more than that. What the space and activities look like is important but how the people in that church interact with the people they are hosting lets them know what they think about them, about the church, and about the God they serve.
Not only is this perspective important for every day activities, it is important for big outreach events as well. But what does that look like? How can we shift our focus from the details of throwing a fun event to hosting people that might only get to glimpse God’s love that week through the interactions they have with God’s people at our church? Here are 3 things to think about…
Every person is a host.
Not just staff. Not just regular volunteers. Not just the people that are “working” that particular event. Everyone that calls your church home is a host when they walk onto the property.
Hosts come in all shapes and sizes.
It is our job to help people understand that even though they aren’t in charge of the egg hunt or serving as a VBS small group leader, or passing out candy at the Halloween alternative doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Everyone is gifted in different ways and hosting the community well takes everyone. It takes people that are willing to introduce themselves to new faces when they are standing in line with their children. It takes people who are intentional about where they choose to sit and eat. It takes people who are willing to go over and ask the person who looks lost how they can help them.
Happy Hosts Make a Huge Impact.
A smile and a friendly greeting mean so much! There are so many outreach events and celebrations out there, what makes going to your church different? The love of Christ that oozes out of every interaction we have with people – from the candy givers to the direction pointers.
So, as you look ahead at your ministry calendar and work to prepare all of the details, clean your facilities, hand out flyers, and bring in supplies don’t forget to save some of your energy for being present and engaged with the people that will come through your doors for any event.
What is one tip you can share about “hosting” events?
(please share in comments below)