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Fun Summer Hospitality Ideas – Hf #84

on July 5, 2017 by Jami Balmet 3 comments

I know how overwhelming hospitality can be. I felt really overwhelmed as a new wife inviting people into my home. I didn’t feel confident in my homemaking skills. And I certainly didn’t feel confident in my cooking skills. 

One of my biggest concerns was knowing what to cook for other people! And I know this is a big concern for many. But Summer is the perfect time to start diving into hospitality, or invite someone new over. So today we are going to be sharing a few tips for summer hospitality! 

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Here’s a question I got from a reader recently that sparked the idea for this episode: 

“For now, I was wondering if you could perhaps share via podcast or blog post some practical menu plans for hospitality. A lot of the time I feel like I’m hesitant to have people over just because I don’t know exactly what to fix. Planning menus for my own family isn’t a huge challenge to me, but I feel like a lot of the meals I normally make for just us aren’t really good “company meals.” Either they can’t be prepared ahead of time or I don’t know what to have with them or they don’t work with the season or they’re just a little too unusual to have for company. I love doing soup/bread/salad, but with the warmer weather that doesn’t work very well (I’m serving that tonight for company in 85 degree weather . . . oops!). Could you share some super practical suggestions for planning hospitality menus that are simple and frugal? And then maybe share some of your tips on how to pull it all together so you’re not stressed out like crazy and exhausted by the time company comes (I’ve been there too many times!!)? With babies and their unpredictable schedules (as you know!) plus a super tight budget, I’m needing a better way to do hospitality so that I’m able to do it more frequently and actually look forward to it! :)” – Catherine

So today hopefully I’ve got some good ideas for you when extending hospitality (and how to make it easy during the Summer)!

Remember the REASON for your hospitality

I think a REALLY important thing (at least for me) is to again and again remember my REASON for hospitality. When I get too focused on the food, or the decor, or the activities…it’s so easy for my heart to be in the WRONG place when extending hospitality. 

When it comes down to it, hospitality is about your HEART and the service you are providing. Because hospitality is about serving others, not empty entertaining for the sake of showing off your cooking or decorating skills. 

“First Peter 4:9 builds on the instructions to practice hospitality and reminds me that my attitude is of utmost important – I am to practice hospitality without complaining! This verse challenges me to conduct a heart search to discern what my attitude is and whether I am approaching this opportunity to minister enthusiastically (Colossians 3:23).” ~ Practicing Hospitality, Pg 23

So what’s the purpose of hospitality? 

The ultimate purpose of hospitality is to minister to those around us – both believers and unbelievers. Our hospitality is a form of ministry and is a way that we show love, care, and concern, and how we can serve others!

“Hospitality from a Biblical perspective is to recognize that God is more interested in caring relationships than the mold behind the shower curtain…It need not matter if we live in a single-room apartment or a split-level ranch, the only real requirement is allowing God to use our lives and our possessions…Our homes and our lives are indeed the most powerful combination of ministry to our world.” ~ Hospitality with Confidence, Pg 9

Hospitality is not about showing off your house, your decorating skills, or your cooking abilities. It is not just having friends over to play games {although that can be an element of it}. It is not about you or your possessions – Hospitality is about God and how he uses you and your possessions to serve those you come into contact with – both friends and strangers, both believers and unbelievers.

Anyone – even the single gal in a dorm room – can show hospitality to those around them. It doesn’t take fancy china or expensive food. Hospitality is about investing in other’s lives and learning how you can best serve those around you.

We could have a revolution within our churches of believers reaching out into our unbelieving neighborhoods and inviting families over, new people to the church quickly getting plugged into church life, and Christians really genuinely caring and serving for one another – through the Biblical art of hospitality!

If we can remember and focus on the relationships, then the food and the other details suddenly don’t matter as much. NOW, with that said, there are still some ways we can make things easier. So here are some practical tips for fun summer hospitality! 

Simple Hospitality Menus

Order Pizza! 

Costco makes huge family size pizzas for $10! Want a SUPER simple meal that everyone will love? Pick up a few pizzas and throw together a side salad if you feel like it. It doesn’t have to be big fancy dinners. Everyone loves pizza! 


Again, this doesn’t have to be fancy. Get some hot dogs, corn on the cob, and maybe some potatoes or a side salad. Grill it up and you’ve got an instant hit for dinner. If you are feeling fancy, you could try some chicken on the BBQ. 

Burrito Bar

This is something I do all the time. Because I do it so often, it’s like second nature to get everything ready. What I like about this option is that even picky eaters can find something they like off the bar. I like to get tortillas and then lots of burrito fixings including chicken or ground beef, lettuce, beans, rice, olives, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. Then I serve tortilla chips and salsa as the sides! 

Another fun idea I just came across which would be perfect for summer is a baked potato bar!

Crock-Pot Meals

Theses are my favorite meals to do for a couple of reasons. 1) You do all the cooking and processing in the morning and then have plenty of time to clean up before guests arrive. And 2) it doesn’t heat up your house in the summer like the oven does! 

Just go to Pinterest and type in “summer crockpot meals” and you will find a million inspiring recipes to try. Or check out these 20 Summer Crock-Pot Dump Meals for the Family

Other Meal Related Tips: 

Host a dessert

No body says you have to serve a complete meal!! Especially if you are on a really tight budget, just invite others over for coffee and dessert. You don’t even need dessert. Just invite a family over to hang out and make a pot of coffee. Especially with the longer hours during the summer, coffee and dessert makes for a great time to fellowship and get to know new people. 

Use paper plates

Because I am in a very busy season with five kids four and under, including a four month old, I am not going to spend all my night washing dishes after hosting hospitality. It’s all paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils right now and it makes extending hospitality SO much easier! 

No one is going to remember the fancy china vs. paper plates. What people remember is the conversation and the fellowship. So do yourself a favor and make it easier! 

Host a Watermelon party

This is a fun tip that I got from Katie and I think it’s brilliant!! Invite people over in the evening after dinner, and crack open a watermelon. Let the kids run around and play in the backyard and enjoy a sweet (and inexpensive) treat!

Host a potluck 

This is another great option if you want to host a full dinner but can’t do the expense or all the work. Host a potluck and ask everyone to provide a side dish. People are usually more than willing to help contribute. So take them up on the offer and make it easier and cheaper to extend hospitality. 

This works especially well if you are having a lot of people over/multiple families. 

Preparing Your House

I know the other hard thing is getting your house ready! This is especially tough with little kids. You could spend your entire day getting ready and your kids undo it in 20 minutes. 

  • Remember the heart attitude behind hospitality
  • Don’t stress if there’s a little mess 
  • Get into the habit of starting to prepare little by little a few days before

More Hospitality Resources:

Book of the Week:

Practicing Hospitality – The Art of Serving Others

I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in Biblical hospitality. It’s clear in Scripture that hospitality isn’t to be practiced just by those who have the “gift” of hospitality. Practicing hospitality is a commandment for every believer. But if can be overwhelming and scary to start practicing hospitality. This book gives you the Biblical encouragement for why it’s so important PLUS the practical suggestions to do so. HINT: They even include sample menus and recipes!! 

Welcome to our Sponsor! 

I am so excited to once again be partnering with Jelly Telly for the month of July! We have been using Jelly Telly now for about 6 months and my boys are hooked (so am I)! Think of Jelly Telly as a sort of Christian Netflix for kids. 

They have become my boys’ very favorite iPhone app as they have over 100 Bible based Christian tv shows for kids! Whether they’re discovering God’s great rescue plan in What’s in the Bible?, singing along with Yancy and Friends about how much God loves them, or discovering what it means to follow Jesus with the beautifully animated series Owlegories, I know they are safe as they browse. 

I love that it’s all Bible based and I don’t have to worry about what they are watching. I love to hear them singing along to hymns in Theo and learning deep theology through What’s in the Bible. And you can try out Jelly Telly for FREE for one week AND get a 10 page Jesus coloring book download by using coupon code: HMF at checkout. 

Our current favorite shows are Theo, Owlegories, and 321 Penguins but I can’t wait to check out a few more. They have over 100 tv shows for kids – how fun! Remember to use coupon code: HMF at checkout! 

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Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
  1. Hi Jami!!

    I loved this post so much…hospitality is one of my most favorite things to read and learn about! There’s always so much more to learn and new ideas to try 🙂 I was wondering if you could possibly share your favorite books on hospitality. I have read “Practicing Hospitality” and loved it (I count it as a must-read!!), but am looking for some more.

    Thank you so much! Your blog has been and continues to be a place of encouragement and great inspiration for me. I appreciate how you have created this space to be filled with Truth and goodness…so thank you for that ♥

    Blessings to you and your family this summer!

    Grace and peace,

  2. Great tips!! Thank you for this… and for the reminde that it’s about God using us and what we have to serve others, not how fancy our homes and meals are!