I love entertaining. I love to cook and enjoy making nice meals for people I care for and love. Tonight I had the pleasure of cooking for one of our friends who came in from New Hampshire. Usually when she comes into town it’s because of a conference of some kind and this time was no exception. She’s doing a workshop at our church tomorrow and is preaching on Sunday.
The difference this time was her plane came in early and I was able to cook her a meal. Hospitality is of high value to me. It’s something I also enjoy doing with Tom. It’s really fun to cook in the kitchen together. He’s a great cook! A good meal (at least I always hope it is) and a good bottle of wine, followed by a good cup of coffee and dessert. Now that’s a fun evening.
It’s not just important in the home to express hospitality, but also in the church. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it’s the little things. How do you welcome someone to your home? Do you want them to feel comfortable? Do you feed them? Would they feel comfortable sitting on your furniture? These are questions I try to ask myself.
I remember when we first got here five years ago, the coffee served at the church was really bad. The pots that were used were old, and there was stuff on the inside that I know was against the laws of nature. Nobody drank the coffee. Who could blame them. It wasn’t even the correct color (I don’t think coffee is supposed to look like a weak cup of tea). People knew they would take their life in their hands if they had a cup. Everyone walked in with their own travel mugs.
So one day Tom asked me if I would take over the Coffee Ministry on Sundays. I thought about it and said, “No way. The coffee sucks. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about me.”
He said, “Well babe that’s part of the problem. Could you fix it?”
Well, I’m always up for a challenge so I replied, “Okay, but it’s going to cost you.”
You see if someone comes to my house, I want to serve them fresh coffee and real creamer not the powered stuff. God only knows how long that stuff has been sitting on a self in the supermarket. So I purchased new coffee pots and bought muffins to sell on Sundays to cover the costs of the fresh creamers and better coffee. After a while others took over and made it even better. Now we have lattes and bagels as well as donuts on Sunday mornings.
My thinking was this, the church was God’s house and it’s important that those who enter feel comfortable and welcomed.
Are they feed? . . . spiritually and physically.
Do they feel at home? . . . Do they feel like visitors or do they hang out pass the time the service is over?
Our church is no better than anyone else’s, but I think that one of the things we do well is hospitality. A little kindness goes a long way.
© Nadine Z. 2006