How Important Is Hospitality In Your LIFE Group?

by Susan Hill

Imagine walking into a room full of strangers hoping you will have the opportunity to connect with new people and grow in your relationship with Christ through the study of His Word. For a few people, this is an easy thing to do. For many others, the experience is awkward or maybe even uncomfortable. Every week we have the opportunity to host first time guests in our LIFE Groups, and we want to be intentional about making their experience as enjoyable as possible.
As Christ followers, it is our responsibility to create a warm and welcoming environment for both guests and LIFE Group members.  In fact, the concept of hospitality is biblical. 1 Peter 4:9 says, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have receive to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in various forms.”
It’s not a stretch to say that hospitality is a form of evangelism. Most of the time relationships have to be built and nurtured before we have enough influence in someone’s life to disciple them. Hospitality is simple, but the impact is incalculable.
So, how do we practice excellent hospitality? Begin by simply introducing yourself and letting them know you are glad they are there.  Introduce them to others in your group, but don’t put pressure on them to stand up and introduce themselves to the class. Remember that people come to a LIFE Group with the desire to connect to biblical community but many are uncomfortable speaking in front of a new group.
Be sure to follow early in the week with an email or call inviting them back. We have the opportunity to make our LIFE Groups a place where kindness abounds, radical hospitality is the norm, and because of the relationships we have built, we are in a position to tell others about Jesus.