“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2 NIV)
How well does your Sunday School class/small group practice hospitality? Hospitality is showing a spirit of generosity/entertaining guests and strangers. Here are some thoughts:
Demonstrate hospitality to each other. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9 NIV) Many people have been turned away from the Gospel because of the way Christians treat each other. When you have time, do an internet search of: Why are Christians so… You will be saddened by the results. Christians should treat each other with mutual respect and love, even when our political and theological preferences may differ.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)
Demonstrate hospitality to guests in your class. Do you have an intentional way to greet new people to the class? You should have a greeter in every class/small group. It is their ministry to greet new people and help them feel welcomed and accepted. This person must be able to see people with God’s eyes. They must accept and welcome people who perhaps don’t fit the homogenous nature of the class in appearance.
Greeters should connect guests to others who have similar interests. I prefer to call greeters…connectors. I want them to connect a guest to three members that day who have similar hobbies/professions. For instance, if a guest loves to play golf, I want them to be connected to three other members who play golf. It would be great if one of those members would invite them to meet that week to share in that hobby.
During the year (and not just Christmas), go as a class to share hospitality to strangers. Serve together at a soup kitchen. Go caroling at a senior adult facility. Go hand out quarters at a laundromat and get to know the people. There are many other examples that I could share. The bottom line is we need to serve others and provide hospitality. We never know when we might be entertaining angels!