You can be a part of the work of the Kingdom though you may not be on the front lines. Think of yourself as a behind-the-lines supply depot, a resting place away from the heat of the battle. Find ways to use the good things the Lord has given to you to ease the battle-scarred veteran or that fresh young recruit. You will give much to them, and they will give to you heroic stories of the conflict, marvelous undertakings of the Commander-in-Chief, and intimate knowledge of the direction the battle is raging.
Hospitality is an open heart as well as an open home. All of us must develop this attitude whether we feel the Lord would have us invite people into our homes twice a year or two hundred times a year. I am not concerned so much about the quantity of hospitality. But, I am concerned about the attitudes from which our practice of hospitality springs. We must all have hospitable hearts and must ask the Lord if He wishes us to be a part of that minority whom He will require to open their hearts and homes radically.
Whenever we begin to exercise hospitality in this way, it is best not to operate out of ignorance. We need to inform ourselves as much as possible, locate other people who have walked this way before, and welcome assistance.
For instance, the first time we invited a black family who attended the church to our own apartment, we parked in the back, went up the back stairs and in the back door. This was a normal procedure for us because of the few parking spots. Our black friends, however, had had the experience of, “Go to that back door, boy!” They thought we were pulling the same racial stunt they had known all their lives. If only we had asked someone more familiar with extending hospitality to African-American families. Such insight would have been helpful in preventing this gaffe. Fortunately we were able to eventually rectify this error by welcoming these people many other times through our front door.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.