Forms of communal living—or living in community—can be established in a variety of ways.
My husband, David, and I have tasted community when we have had live-in guests. Individual families living in separate dwellings can make certain obligations to each other. They can promise to support and encourage and assist one another financially. They can join together for regular prayer and Bible study. They can establish food co-ops. They can share household equipment, such as ladders and lawn mowers.
The possibilities for this modified form of shared life are endless. If we learn to trade child-care responsibilities, aid one another in menial tasks, take turns preparing those thousands of yearly meals, can’t our lives then be freed for more ministry, more growth, more becoming?
Not all creative applications of hospitality need to be revolutionary. In our dour and work-laden lives, an adventurous approach may be simply to plan an evening of delight and celebration.
One woman of the church reported to me that she and her husband were picking up my dropped ends of hospitality and were having informal get-togethers. I was relieved to hear this and surprised when she mentioned the names of several people I hadn’t as yet met. “We had a progressive dinner last night,” she reported. “And, we’re really pleased with the way everyone became so well acquainted.”
“A progressive dinner? Who else’s homes did you use?” I wanted to know.
“Oh, no one’s,” she replied. “We progressed to the bedroom for the appetizer, to the dining room for the main course, and to the living room for dessert. This circulation mixed everyone together.” This was to me another example of creative hospitality mixed liberally with delight.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen Mains 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.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen 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.
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.