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Preparing your home {and your heart} for Hospitality

on October 8, 2013 by Jami Balmet 5 comments

This post is part of my series on The Joy of Hospitality: Practicing the Biblical art of serving others! You can follow along and read all posts in the series HERE.

I have a passion for hospitality and have grown to love it. But that doesn’t mean hospitality is always easy for me. In fact, when we practice hospitality monthly and even weekly, it takes a lot of preparation and planning for it to all run smoothly.

But with a little preparing, of both your heart and your home, hospitality can run a lot smoother and more efficiently. This will leave you more time to focus on the guests in your home and to be good witnesses of Christ!

Preparing your heart and home for hospitality

“Management skills are important for Christian women primarily because such skills are the key to extending hospitality with ease, enjoyment, and resourcefulness…Management helps us maximize our time, energy, and resources. Simply put, management allows us to plan and organize events so we are free to focus on our real priority – people!” Practicing Hospitality, pg 102-103, emphasis mine.

Preparing Your Heart for Hospitality

Put on Humility

Practicing hospitality takes humility. It’s so easy to fall into the sin of pride when inviting others into your home or bringing them a meal. It’s easy to make hospitality about your home or your cooking {this is what gets me}.

But at the end of the day it isn’t about either. It’s about Christ and our service to His Kingdom. We practice hospitality because we want to reach people with God’s Word and encourage them in their walk. Hospitality is a Biblical command.

Come up with a list of questions

Because hospitality is about so much more than food and center pieces, we must be intentional about keeping a Christ centered focus when practicing hospitality. It can be so easy to fall into easy chitchat about the weather, what’s happening at church, or your kid’s latest funny thing.

But to really come together for fellowship or evangelism, we must get to heart issues and really learn who our guests are. A great way to do this is to come up with a list of questions that you know you can always pull out to get conversation started.

Easy ones to get conversation started is so ask if they have lived in your town their whole life. This can lead to questions of when they became Christians. You can ask how the couple met and got married and then dig deeper into knowing them and hearing their story.

Develop your schedule for the night intentionally

Make sure you are the one leading where the night goes. Come up with a game plan before your guests arrive. If things go a bit off schedule that’s okay – but at least be prepared for a plan so your guests know an appropriate time to leave.

After dinner you can invite the family to all play a board game together. Or show the kids to the play room and offer the adults coffee and dessert so you can talk more.

Study what Biblical Hospitality Means

An important part of hospitality is the Biblical meaning. Without God’s Word guiding us, hospitality is nothing more than empty entertaining.

Study God’s Word as well as Christian books on hospitality to help give you encouragement and ideas! Here are some great resources to help get you started and a few great books I recommend are:

My favorite hospitality books

Preparing Your Home for Hospitality

Plan Ahead

I know the first few times we extended hospitality to people we didn’t know very well, it felt like it took a week to get ready. Things I don’t normally notice {such as cobwebs and dirty mirrors} were suddenly obvious to me!

I felt overwhelmed and I was exhausted after the first few people came over. But as time went on, I became more comfortable with the routine. We started practicing hospitality so often that I was always planning ahead to the next get together.

This way the house never got too out of hand. After one night of hospitality I knew I better stay on top of the house and cleaning because a new family would be in our dining room the following week!

“Planning is an important part of hospitality. Without planning you will not be prepared to meet the needs of guests, and you might miss opportunities to extend hospitality. Planning suggests you are anticipating opportunities to prepare a meal, invite a guest to stay the night, or open your home to others in some way…Any time you extend hospitality, planning is required. Unfortunately, we are often unprepared because we have not anticipated opportunities.”  Practicing Hospitality, pg 103

Stock the Pantry

Normally when we have guests into our home we make one of our family’s favorite recipes. These recipes are tried and true and I’m comfortable whipping them up while I am juggling other things {like making dessert and watching my babes}.

Plus I usually always have these ingredients in my pantry. There are many meals that I keep the staples of in the freezer and pantry so with last minute guests that day, I can still make a delicious and healthy home cooked meal!

Freezer Cooking

Freezer cooking has revolutionized the way I do cooking. Not only do I freezer entire meals, I have also become very comfortable with freezing all kinds of other things {bread, pizza dough, cooked beans, ect}.

I love having entire meals ready in your freezer to put in the oven or on the stove. This is great for last minute guests because all the cooking {and clean up} has already been done and you have all the ingredients you need!

 Practicing hospitality may seem overwhelming at first! But I promise, with a little preparation and doing it a couple of times, you will become a pro in no time!

Just remember, hospitality is far more about your heart than it is about your home! Spend time in God’s Word and ask Him to help you let go of you fears and your insecurities {i.e. PRIDE}!

Read more in this series:

Come with me on a journey to discover the Biblical art of serving others in The Joy of Hospitality Series!

Do you want to learn more about hospitality?

You can sign up for my FREE 3-part video series on hospitality. We begin by first starting where any Gospel-Centered discussion should start: with the Bible! We then take that Biblical definition of hospitality and practically apply it with a beginner’s guide to hospitality – everything you need to know to have the confidence to start extending hospitality – today! Sign up HERE for free!

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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. Thank you so much for this series! It has been a challenge to my heart and has given me so many things to think about and tips to practice. I agree that hospitality comes down to a heart attitude. God bless!

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