Why God Wants You to be the (Host)ess with the Mostess
Last summer something tragic happened.
The air conditioner in our house died. It completely stopped working. Thankfully, a couple from church invited us to spend the night at their place until our air conditioner got up and running again. So Kelly and I packed up the girls and drove over to this couple’s house.
When we arrived we were overwhelmed.
Our family was treated like honored guest—there was a delicious dinner, yummy dessert, and coffee (aka God’s favorite beverage). After dinner we enjoyed some great conversation, and the entire time this family went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed—fresh sheets, clean towels, and breakfast in the morning.
They knew how to make us feel welcome, relaxed, and comfortable. That’s what great hosts do. In many ways—this is the point I want to impress—this is what God calls us to do. God calls you and I to be excellent hosts at Hope Covenant Church.
Let me explain.
One of the great dangers in the modern church is the fact that many people view themselves as “guests” instead of “hosts”.
If you consider Hope “your church”, “your family”, and “your community”, then you're a host. If you're a member, then you're a host. If you’ve been attending Hope for several years, then you're certainly a host. If on the other hand, you're still checking out Hope Church, trying to figure out if it’s where you belong, then you’re a guest. Be a guest. Sit back, ask questions, and let us serve you for a season.
However, most of us we are called to be hosts, to go out of our way to make our Sunday morning guests feel honored, loved, and appreciated. God calls hosts to have the “same mind as Christ” by “doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interest but each of your to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
Considering ourselves as hosts instead of guests required a radical paradigm shift for many people. Far too often we're prone to consider the pastors and/or leaders the hosts and ourselves as the guests. But that kind of thinking is foreign to the biblical description of the church. God calls us the entire chruch to be a “priesthood of believers” and to be sacrificial hosts. We are share this responsiblity equally.
To be a host means that:
you personally invite friends and family to Sunday services
you park several rows away to give our guests the best spots
you surrender your seat in the sanctuary for someone else
you introduce yourself to newcomers who arrive in the sanctuary early
you go out of your way to meet first-time guests before and after the service
you invite newcomers out to lunch
you serve in at least one area of ministry
you become a member of Hope and commit to being part of our family
you pray for your the staff, leaders, and church body
This is how hosts behave. This is the types of actions that mark out hosts among guests. To be host means you put the interests of other above your own because you are committed to advancing our mission to “reach one more for Christ”.
Churches that are choke-full of hosts are more unified, have more thriving ministries, more healthy families, more praying members, and project a more welcoming and Christ-like environment than churches full of guests. Furthermore, when a church is operating from a host mentality members tend to take more ownership and responsibility for ministry, which leads to increased spiritual and numerical growth. This is what we're after! And all of us have a part to play.
So, what does it look like for you to be a host at Hope Covenant Church?